Chiba Lotte Marines closer Masahide Kobayashi on Thursday turned down the Japan Series champions’ offer of a 230 million yen annual salary, unchanged from this year.
Kobayashi was 2-2 with 29 saves and a 2.58 ERA in 46 regular-season games, but team executives pointed to his shaky outings in the postseason, which led them to offer the unchanged amount.
Kobayashi is believed to be seeking an increase of some 30 million yen. Meanwhile, infielder Kazuya Fukuura signed to accept an offer of an unchanged 180 million yen for 2006, the second year of his three-year contract with the Marines. Fukuura hit .300 with six homers and 72 RBIs this past season.
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