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The Japnese Insider - Japanese data archive, daily game summaries and box scores. Original analysis. Links to the Japanese sites in English.

Do Japanese teams make salaries for American Players public knowledge?

I was wondering if you could answer this question for me or pass it along to someone who might know.

Do Japanese teams make salaries for American Players public knowledge? What is the typical minimum salary for a first year American player playing in Japan.

Thank you in advance.


Gary Garland's Response

Hiya John!

First, thanks for reading Baseball!

To answer your question, yes, all salary figures are indeed made public (though in Roberto Petagine's case, the Yakult Swallows apparently didn't want anyone to know that they had paid him $5 million this season).

Anyway, there is what you could call, I suppose, kind of a three tier system for foreign players in Japan. For players who came up from the Hiroshima Carp's baseball academy in the Dominican Republic, those players usually get $35,000-50,000 a year and then it goes up if they stick around. Alfonso Soriano originally came up through the Carp system.

For players who have come out of MLB minro league systems, generally you will see then slotting in anywhere between $200,000-500,000 their first year. Again, their salaries will go up as they stick around. For example, Tuffy Rhodes and Alex Cabrera will make somewhere between $2-3 million next season. Salaries in Japan are nowhere as high as they are in MLB. However, minor league players make much more than their U.S. counterparts.

So to sum up, you have the Carp Academy players, who get what is a low wage by the standards of the other players, you have the newly signed refugess from MLB, and ten you have the established foreigners who make much more than either of the other two groups.

The Japanese have gotten smart and are no longer signing washed up players at exorbitant salaries (Kevin Mitchell and Mike Greenwell are two notorious examples). This has helped hold the line on foreign player payrolls.

Take care,

Gary Garland

Japanese Baseball Writer,

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