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Twelve Hawks become free agents; Sugiuchi and Tanoue win Battery Award

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Twelve Hawks become free agents; Sugiuchi and Tanoue win Battery Award

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SoftBank announced that twelve players became free agents today. On that list included DJ Houlton, Kazumi Saitoh, and Roberto Petagine.

There was a mutual desire for Houlton to return, but the two parties were apparently far apart on the money. If the Hawks wanted to lowball him, they had every reason to. The righty was awful at times this year, and was also hurt for extended periods of time.

Roberto Petagine being left off the protected list was no surprise, as the big veteran slugger had said this would likely be his last stop in his long career.

Kazumi Saitoh is a different matter. It's likely he'll return because he's been signed to a coach's contract, and he is also actively making an attempt to return to the mound for the first time in three years.

The other eight names on the list were veterans Makoto Satoh, Akio Mizuta, Motohiro Yoshikawa, and Akihiro Yanase, with Shinya Suzuki, Ryuta Otahara, Yuta Arakawa, and Takeshi Tsuji.

In other team news, three players were re-signed to contracts. Minor leaguers Yuki Shimooki and Hiroyuki Kawahara were re-signed with no change in their salaries (6 million yen each, $72,000 USD). Shingo Tatsumi also re-signed with the team for 10.6 million yen ($127,000), a decrease of 3.4 million yen.

One more bit of team news was that Toshiya Sugiuchi and Hidenori Tanoue won the Pacific League Battery Award for 2010, while Kenta Maeda and Yoshiyuki Ishihara won in the Central League. In addition, the All-Time Battery Award was given out, and it went to the 1991 Seibu Lions combination of Kimiyasu Kudoh and Tsutomu Itoh (the winners of the first-ever Battery Award).
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