• Kyodo News


Disgruntled Seibu Lions pitcher Hideaki Wakui has told the club to look at the bigger picture in his fight for a pay increase as a three-man salary arbitration committee held a hearing to listen to both sides state their cases on Friday.

The 24-year-old is unhappy with Seibu’s offer of ¥200 million, unchanged from 2010, plus performance bonuses and says he wants a higher evaluation of his overall season, despite a dip in form after the summer.

Wakui went 14-8 with a 3.67 ERA in 27 starts in the fifth consecutive season that he has posted double-digit wins, but only posted three wins after the All-Star series.

“I want (Seibu) to take into account the season as a total,” said Wakui, who was joined by his agent at the hearing but did not reveal how much he was asking for.

“The figure will come out when this has finished but I can’t say anything about that right now,” said Wakui. “I think I got my message across. I told them what I think and thought I would remind them of the results I have delivered until now.”

Seibu senior official Kosuke Maeda would not divulge details of the hearing, simply saying, “We were allowed to put forward the club’s thoughts.”

Both sides appear willing to accept the final figure that the committee decides on.

Arbitration committee chief Katsuhiko Kumazaki said, “It’s important to get an accurate hold on where both sides are coming from. This is not something that will be decided on lightly.”

The next hearing is scheduled for Tuesday with a final decision expected to be made before the start of a training camp on Feb. 1.

This is the first salary arbitration case since the Nippon Ham Fighters lost to left-hander Tsuyoshi Shimoyanagi in 2001 and only the seventh time in which Japanese baseball contract talks have gone to arbitration.

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