Baseball / Japanese Baseball

Rakuten gives Tanaka big raise

Kyodo

The Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles signed Pacific League Rookie of the Year Masahiro Tanaka on Thursday to a new one-year contract with a fourfold jump in annual salary. Tanaka will make an estimated ¥60 million in 2008 after the 19-year-old kept his spot in the starting rotation all season while going 11-7 with 196 strikeouts, second in the league, and a 3.82 earned run average. Rakuten officials said the Sendai-based club took into account the contributions the popular teenager made to its marketing efforts and expanded exposure to the media in making the latest offer.

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