The Orix Buffaloes will part ways with Dae-Ho Lee.
Team director Ryuzo Setoyama spoke to reporters today about negotiations and said that they tried their best to resign the slugger, but had to give up because they could not give Lee the kind of contract he was looking for.
Yonhap News is carrying a story on the decision.
... Lee Cha-ho, a sports agent and older brother of the player, said Lee Dae-ho told the Osaka-based team in the Nippon Professional Baseball (NPB) league on Wednesday that he couldn't accept the club's offer of a new contract.
"He likes the surroundings in the home city of Osaka," Lee Cha-ho said. "But he just couldn't stay with the team with the kind of money that they offered him."
The Buffaloes reportedly offered him 800 million yen (US$8.1 million) for two years, after paying him 760 million yen for two previous seasons.
... "Two to three Japanese clubs have shown interest in Lee Dae-ho and their offer is larger than Orix's," the older Lee said. "Major League Baseball is also interested. He's trying to decide whether to take on the challenge (of playing in the big leagues) or to settle down in Japan."
Jiji News mentions that the Buffaloes ultimately pushed their offer to three years at a max value of over one billion yen. Nikkan Sports puts the max value at over 1.2 billion.