Next season will be Masahiro Tanaka's 5th pro season. On Thursday, he agreed to a 2011 salary of 200M yen plus incentives (up 20M yen). For a pitcher out of high school to reach the 200M yen range, that's faster than Daisuke Matsuzaka (6th pro season), as quick as Ichiro Suzuki (5th year), and one year behind Yu Darvish (4th season).
Satoshi Nagai also met with the team on Thursday and placed a 72.5M yen (up 15.5M yen) offer on hold. It appears there's about a 2.5M yen difference between the two sides.
Nagai wants the Eagles to place more importance in the fact he was able to provide the starting rotation with much needed stability over the last two seasons. The two sides will meet again on the 20th.
Teppei was apparently quite sad about Naoto Watanabe being traded away and teared up while telling reporters that he understood that trades are part of the job description, but that it was something he never expected.
Kensuke Uchimura was also apparently surprised by the move and said that he received a lot of encouragement from Watanabe. Uchimura added that he wanted to try his best to fill in the hole that opens with Watanabe's departure.
Kazuo Matsui and Hiroyuki Nakajima (Seibu Lions) recorded a radio show for Bunka Hoso on Thursday. The show will air on 1/3/2010 and is titled "Matsui Kazuo, Nakajima Hiroyuki - New Year's gathering - What baseball means to us" (松井稼頭央 中島裕之 新春ビッグ対談 僕らのベースボール).
Seems Matsui also encouraged Nakajima to chase after his dreams of playing in the Majors.
"I'd like to see his dream come true," said Matsui. "A of things happened during my 7 years and I consider them all good experiences. And I recommend the Central League because of the time differences."
Katsuya Nomura was asked to provide his thoughts on Saito Yuki and said, "He's got warm hands. He's the type that lives and dies on control and pitch selection. What will decide his fate is his catcher."
Nomura was then asked about the news regarding Tanaka's trip with Mai Satoda and he replied, "What a fool. I think I taught him wrong. Saito? He'll be fine. He's different [from Tanaka]."