Softbank Hawks acting owner Kazuhiko Kasai is apparently thinking about joining the second round of salary negotiation talks with Toshiya Sugiuchi on the 25th. The Hawks are expected to give Sugiuchi a bigger raise and will also attempt to deal with the damage that was done when chief of player development Itaru Kobayashi reportedly took out a audio recording device during the team's first round of negotiations with Sugiuchi.
"I'm sure we can come to an understanding if we have some time to talk it over," said Kasai. "If he was here right now, I'd tell him not to worry. I'll even sit in [during the next round of negotiations]."
Kasai continued, "He's our ace. If he wasn't on our team, we wouldn't have taken first place. I'd like to get this settled on the 25th. I'd like to enjoy drinking sake with him on New Years."
It'll be interesting to see just how much extra the Hawks are willing to increase his salary. Sugiuchi came away with a 50M yen raise during his first round of negotiations. Since then, Tsuyoshi Wada got a 120M yen raise. I'm not exactly sure what will make Sugiuchi happy at this point, but one thing is for sure: it probably would have been cheaper for the team to come out with a strong offer from the start.