The Hiroshima Carp held a press conference at Mazda Stadium today to introduce their newest addition: thirty-seven-year-old Takahiro Arai. The veteran will make an estimated twenty million yen next season, down from the 200 million he earned this year. He was assigned the the number twenty-eight.
Arai began his professional career with Hiroshima in 1999. He recorded a career-high forty-three home runs in 2005 with the Carp before leaving for the Hanshin Tigers via free agency after the 2007 season.
"When I selected free agency, I never thought someone from the Carp would ask me to return. It was a difficult decision, but I decided to come back because I want to give all that I have left to the team I got started with," said Arai during his press conference.
He added, "When the Carp contacted me, I struggled with the decision, just as I did seven years ago [when I decided to leave]. In that context, I was surprised they reached out to me. I was also happy, but objectively speaking, I wasn't sure if it would be okay for me to return."