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Swallows to try to retain Ryota Igarashi

by on Oct.21, 2009 @ 9:26 am, under NPB

The Swallows appear ready to offer Ryota Igarashi a bigger contract if it means he'll stay with the team instead of going off to the Majors.

"We'd love for him to stay.  There's no reason to put off the negotiations so we'll try to get this settled early," said team owner Suzuki.

Yakult offered Igarashi a 3-year deal worth 300M yen during the off-season last year, but Igarashi insisted on a 1-year deal in order to keep his options open for the current off-season.

Suzuki added, "I'm sure the same deal from last year won't do."

The Swallows' bullpen would take a big hit if Igarashi walks so it would make sense for the team to do whatever it can to keep him from leaving.

The big question: how serious is Igarashi about going to the Majors?