Lee Dae-ho Nears Deal with Softbank Hawks

Slugger Lee Dae-ho seems to be leaning toward signing with the Softbank Hawks in Japan's Nippon Professional Baseball.

Sports Hochi reported on Wednesday that the Hawks have been actively reinforcing their lineup and have already acquired Jason Standridge and Dennis Sarfate.

The Japanese sports daily added that the negotiations between the Fukuoka-based club and Lee have now entered the final stage.

Lee Dae-ho Lee Dae-ho

In his second season in Japan, Lee racked up a batting average of 0.303, hit 24 homeruns and posted 91 RBIs. The Hawks did not have much success in the 2013 season with ex-Major Leaguers Wily Modesto Peña and Bryan LaHair, making Lee more of a temptation for the team in light of his proven track record in Japan.

Lee previously rejected a three-year contract from Orix Buffaloes worth over 1 billion yen, meaning he might be able to command a two-year deal for a similar amount plus an option for one additional year.

englishnews@chosun.com / Dec. 19, 2013 09:44 KST