The Seibu Lions on Thursday signed ace right-hander Daisuke Matsuzaka to a new contract that is expected to make him the highest-paid pitcher in the Pacific League next year.
Seibu and Matsuzaka agreed on an estimated annual salary of 330 million yen, an increase of 80 million yen from this year, after the 25-year-old posted a 14-13 record with a 2.30 ERA while leading the league with 226 strikeouts, 15 complete games and three shutouts.
The new deal for Matsuzaka carries the highest annual salary among the Pacific League pitchers who have renewed their contracts thus far in the offseason.
Seibu teammate Fumiya Nishiguchi received a 100 million yen raise earlier this month and will earn 300 million yen next year after going 17-5 with a 2.77 ERA.
Elsewhere, Yomiuri Giants infielder Tomohiro Nioka re-signed with the Central League club for 160 million yen in annual salary for 2006, up 20 million yen from this year.
He hit .301 with 16 homers and 58 RBIs in 139 games.
The Yokohama BayStars signed Daisuke Miura to a new salary deal worth 220 million yen plus a performance bonus, unchanged from this year, after the right-hander led the Central League with a 2.52 ERA and 177 strikeouts while going 12-9.
Yokohama outfielder Tatsuhiko Kinjo, who hit over .300 for the third straight season with a .324 average, was awarded a 50 million yen raise to 135 million yen in yearly salary.
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