• Kyodo

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Daiei Hawks infielder Nobuhiko Matsunaka, the only player from the 12 teams who has yet to sign a contract for the coming season, failed Monday to seal a deal for a requested 310 million yen in annual salary.

It was the first time the 30-year-old, who is seeking a pay raise of 151 million yen, employed an agent to negotiate talks at the team’s spring training camp in Miyazaki.

Daiei has made an offer of estimated 300 million yen, but Matsunaka says he deserves an extra 10 million yen for batting .324 with 30 home runs in 135 games and helping the team win its first league championship in three years in 2003, despite a right-knee injury.

Daiei general manager Kenji Sato was upbeat about the talks, while hinting that a change in the team’s proposal seems unlikely. Since Feb. 1, Matsunaka has been taking part in the training camp in Miyazaki at his own expense.

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