Nobuhiko Matsunaka met with the Hawks' front office and agreed to a salary of 200M yen (down 200M yen) plus incentives for the 2011 season. The 200M yen pay cut Matsunaka got is the biggest pay cut in NPB history, breaking Atsuya Furuta's cut of 180M yen before the 2007 season. Matsunaka will be in the 6th year of a 7-year deal next season.
FYI: Matsunaka's 7-year contract called for a set salary of 500M yen over the first 4 years and then a variable salary beginning in year five.
Sho Iwasaki returned from the winter leagues in Puerto Rico on the 25th. Iwasaki played for the Criollos de Caguas for 2 months and won an MVP with the following pitching line: 8-1, 3.19 ERA, 19 G, 9 GS, 1 CG, 53.2 IP, 57 H, 21 R, 19 ER, 40 SO. He was also asked to stay by the Criollos' GM after the team made the playoffs. And while Iwasaki originally had plans to work out in Miyazaki in January, it seems there's now a chance he might return to Puerto Rico for the playoffs.
And the Hawks apparently don't mind if Iwasaki goes back, and are even willing to provide him with whatever support the might need, but only after he gets the proper permission from the player's union.
If Criollos does well and manages to play well, it's possible they could also advance to the Caribbean Series, and that means Iwasaki could be gone until February.