Lee Dae-ho Reaches Deal with Softbank Hawks

Lee Dae-ho Lee Dae-ho

Slugger Lee Dae-ho has signed a three-year contract worth 1.45 billion yen with the Softbank Hawks in Japan's Nippon Professional Baseball.

Japan's Nikkan Sports said on Monday that both sides are still hammering out the finer details of the deal. The daily added that the Hawks will be able to officially announce the deal on Tuesday.

The deal would make Lee the third highest paid Korean player to ever feature in the top Japanese league. Samsung Lions' Lee Seung-yeop received the highest sum of 30 billion yen in 2006 when he signed a four-year contract with the Yomiuri Giants. The second highest earner was Lim Chang-yong, who netted 1.5 billion yen from the Yakult Swallows for a three-year extension to his contract with the club in 2010.

Lee had previously considered a shift to U.S. Major League Baseball but opted to stay in Japan given the Hawks' strong interest in him. As the Hawks have been reinforcing their lineup lately, Lee, who has performed consistently well for the team over the last two years, apparently decided it would be better to stay put in Japan to keep building his career.

englishnews@chosun.com / Dec. 24, 2013 10:33 KST