• Kyodo News

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Tokyo Yakult Swallows outfielder Norichika Aoki re-signed on Monday with the Central League club for a salary of ¥330 million, plus performance incentives — making him the highest paid Japanese player in club history after receiving a ¥50 million raise.

“I feel happy that I received the top evaluation ever of a (Japanese) player with the team,” said Aoki, who won the CL batting title last season for the third time in his career with a .358 average and had his second 200-hit season.

The 29-year-old Aoki had once told the Swallows that he was considering a move to the major leagues via the posting system but the subject was never discussed during negotiations.

“I am still holding onto my dream but I also want to lead this team,” said Aoki.

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