The Nippon Ham Fighters have re-signed sluggers Sherman Obando, Nigel Wilson and southpaw Kevin Ohme at baseball’s winter meetings in Dallas, officials of the Pacific League club said Tuesday.
Fighters team president Takeshi Kojima concluded a $1.3 million contract with Obando that nearly triples last year’s deal after the Nippon Ham outfielder batted .332 with 30 homers and 101 RBIs this past season. Wilson, meanwhile, signed for an estimated $1.2 million after hitting 37 homers and driving in 89 RBIs last season.
Hawks give Matsunaka big raise
FUKUOKA (Kyodo) The Pacific League champion Daiei Hawks gave infielder Nobuhiko Matsunaka a 100 million yen raise Wednesday, making him one of the fastest players in the club’s history to top the 100 million yen level in annual salary.
Matsunaka, voted the Pacific League’s Most Valuable Player of 2000, tripled his salary to 150 million yen after batting .312 with a league third-best 33 home runs in his fourth season with the Fukuoka-based team. The 26-year-old Kumamoto native was also a key player in Japan’s Olympic team in Atlanta in 1996 and again at this year’s Sydney Games in September.
Also, Daiei right-hander Tomohiro Nagai re-signed with the club for an estimated 60 million yen Tuesday, accepting a 22 million yen raise despite a slight slip in his numbers from 1999. Southpaw Masakazu Watanabe rejected a 33 million yen offer, saying the team did not show its appreciation “in financial terms” for his 6-1 record and 2.54 earned run average over 85 innings in 60 games this year.