Saturday, January 21, 2006

Ishii Signs Contract

Southpaw Ishii rejoins Yakult

The Yakult Swallows and Kazuhisa Ishii agreed Friday on terms that will see the left-hander return to Japanese baseball after a four-year stint in the major leagues.

Baseball sources said both sides agreed on a two-year contract for an estimated total of 600 million yen, including performance incentives, during their second round of negotiations.

On Thursday, Ishii, 32, said he had decided to pitch again for the Swallows and declined offers from the Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles and the Hokkaido Nippon Ham Fighters.

"I thought about which of the teams I can fit to in the best possible fashion for the rest of my career," Ishii said after Friday's talks with Yakult officials.
"Hopefully, I'll produce results that make me say that I made a good decision."

The Japan Times: Jan. 21, 2006

Well, now the Tokyo Swallows have secured an experienced, quality pitcher who should be able to lead the bullpen through the tougher parts of the season. Hopefully the middle part of our lineup proves to be as potent as predicted.

One big question remains: how effectively can Furuta guide the team while playing behind home plate?

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