Munenori Kawasaki, Tsuyoshi Wada, and Toshiya Sugiuchi will all likely exercise their FA options.
Kawasaki is scheduled to return from the Asia Series tomorrow and could file his FA papers and hold a press conference to announce his decision all on the same day. His first choice is rumored to be the Seattle Mariners.
Wada also has plans to hold a press conference soon.
Sponichi is reporting that Sugiuchi will be exercising his FA option, this after his agent met with the Hawks on Monday and placed the team on hold. And it seems the departures of Kawasaki and Wada may have played a fairly big role in his decision, although he also did turn to family and friends for advice. For those wondering, he is not sticking around with the Hawks for another season just to earn his international FA option because he does not have any interest in the Majors (or at least, that is what he has said in the past). A number of teams, including Yomiuri, Hanshin, Orix, and Yokohama, are said to be interested.
UPDATE @ 5:05pm - Sponichi is reporting that Sugiuchi's agent filed the necessary FA paperwork with the Hawks today.
UPDATE @ 6:12pm - Sugiuchi's agent read the following prepared statement to reporters:
I thought about this over and over and I decided to exercise my FA option. I will continue negotiations with the Hawks as I field offers from other teams.
UPDATE @ 10:16pm - Team director Itaru Kobayashi told reporters today that there was still some wiggle room with Sugiuchi's contract and that he felt it might be possible to close the gap in their differences a little more.