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Four Hawks sign on for 2011

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Four Hawks sign on for 2011

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In the last two days, the SoftBank Hawks have signed four more of their key players. The double-play tandem of Munenori Kawasaki and Yuichi Honda received nice raises, along with Tadashi Settsu, while Kenji Ohtonari saw a small drop in his salary.

Honda renewed his contract on December 6th, and the hometown second baseman saw his salary increase by 38 million yen to 110 million yen ($1.32 million) for the 2011 season, well deserved after he hit .296 with three home runs, 39RBI, and 59 steals.

His veteran counterpart at shortstop also got a raise to the tune of 90 million yen, giving Kawasaki a 2011 salary of 240 million yen ($2.88 million). Kawasaki had a career year, as he hit .316 in the full 144 games with four home runs, 53RBI, and 30 steals of his own. By signing a contract for this year, Kawasaki has opted to forego his domestic free agent option, instead looking to get his international FA option next year.

Record-setting second-year reliever Tadashi Settsu also got another payday for himself, as he got a 45 million yen raise to bring his 2011 salary to 95 million yen ($1.14 million). Settsu became the only player in NPB history to appear in at least 70 games in his first two seasons, and is the second to do that feat in two consecutive seasons (Hiroshi Gondoh).

The only player of this quartet to see a decrease in his salary is Kenji Ohtonari, who received a 4 million yen drop salary to 35 million yen ($419,000). The Hawks front office probably realized that his poor record of 4-9 and a 4.31 ERA was not entirely his fault, as his offense never scored for him. In games Ohtonari started, the offense failed to score more than three runs in his first nine starts, and in 13 of his 19 starts overall.
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