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More transactions from Hawks

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More transactions from Hawks

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Remember that contract scrap the Hawks and Hiroshi Shibahara were having? That has been resolved, as the Hawks upped their offer significantly in the face of salary arbitration.

Shibahara signed a one-year, incentive-laden deal worth 62.4 million yen in base salary. According to YakyuBaka (via Sanspo), the incentives are as follows: the contract rises to 60% of his 2010 salary (120 million yen) if Shibahara puts up numbers similar to his first year, 65% if he posts numbers similar to last year, and rises to the full 120 million if he posts a career year (highly unlikely).

Who knows if the rift between Shibahara and the Hawks' front office will ever heal, but what matters is that the Hawks have a veteran presence off the bench as their fifth outfielder. With Matsunaka and Jose Ortiz also able to play left (despite their suspect defense), the Hawks are beyond loaded with depth at outfielder now.

In other team news, venerable left-handed specialist Soichi Fujita was signed to an ikusei deal yesterday. Fujita, who was with Lotte from 1998-2007, had two productive years with the Yomiuri Giants. This could end up being a low-risk, high-reward deal, especially since the Hawks desperately need some left-handed help in the bullpen aside from Masahiko Morifuku.

After the flurry of activity from the Hawks in the offseason, things have been rather quiet leading up to the opening of spring camp on February 1st. Pre-season games start on February 18th and go until March 21st. In a move I haven't seen since I started watching Pro Yakyu in 2007, both the Central and Pacific Leagues start on the same day: March 25th.
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