2014 Nippon Professional Baseball Payrolls (Per NPB Tracker)

Norm loves Vera

Joe wants Trump to speak
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Dec 25, 2003
3,277
Peace Dale, RI
Every now and then I find myself perusing websites/blogs that cover various international professional baseball leagues and players.  NPB Tracker is very informative IMHO and the fonder and main contributer, Patrick Newman, is very responsive to emails.  I think he would be a great member here at Sosh (if he is not already.)  I read with great interest his update from yesterday on the projected payrolls of each of the 12 teams in the NPB for the 2014 season and thought I would share it here.  Patrick's take-aways from the data:
 
  • 91 NPB players make JPY100m (about $1m) or above. 65 are Japanese, 26 are foreign.
  • Japan’s highest-paid player is Yomiuri catcher Shinnosuke Abe at JPY600m ($6m). He actually turned down a higher salary for Yomiuri, because he felt he was not ready to surpass the JPY610m that Hideki Matsui made in his final season with the Giants.
  • The highest paid foreign player is Rakuten’s Andruw Jones, at JPY400m. I believe he’s being paid in dollars, in the amount of $3.8m. To get a better idea of how foreign players are paid, read this post.
  • The lowest paid shihaika roster player is Rakuten rookie pitcher Ryuta Konno, at JPY4.4m ($44k).
 
What I found interesting is 7 of the 12 teams projected payroll will be under $25 million (US) and thats for all their players under contract which includes minor leaguers.  The Rakuten Eagles, who posted Tanaka this year, has a projected payroll of $27 million (US).   NPB also has the equivalent of a "practice squad" (Ikusei) who can practice and wear uniforms with 3 digits (over 100)  who are not included in these numbers... I doubt they would be paid too well.
 
There is a chart with all the team\s payrolls listed, but I couldnt figure out how to post that.  Here is the original link:
 
http://www.npbtracker.com/2014/02/2014-npb-payrolls/#content
 
If this should be posted somewhere else, please feel free to move.
 

Tokyo Sox

Baka Gaijin
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Feb 16, 2006
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NPB Tracker is a great site and possibly the best starting point resource for anyone looking to get more familiar with NPB.  Thanks for linking to that post.  I knew most of the salary stuff already, but I found the last line of the post the most interesting:
 
I’ll delve into why Japanese baseball salaries aren't higher in a later article.
 
 
I'll look forward to reading that.  Some of the teams are hugely popular, and take in plenty of revenue via gate receipts and merchandise sales.  They could definitely afford to pay players (a lot) more.  Likely reasons they don't may include:
- Some amount of collusion between owners.
- Funneling off of baseball-related profits into other parts of the corporate ledger, since most (all, except kind of Hiroshima) teams are owned by larger parent companies.
- A historically weak (but getting better) players' union.
- Cultural considerations (e.g. Abe refusing to accept a higher salary than Matsui).
 
IIRC Yomiuri actually offered Matsui JPY 800m/year ($8mil) for 4 years before he left for the Yankees.  But it was basically a totally symbolic move since they knew he'd never accept it.
 

Norm loves Vera

Joe wants Trump to speak
SoSH Member
Dec 25, 2003
3,277
Peace Dale, RI
My mind boggles what a windfall for the Seibu Lions when Matsuzaka was posted for $51 million (US) ... that was seven years ago and this year it's looking like the Lion's payroll will be > $22 million (US).
 
 
 
 
edit.. i before e except in Seibu ..
 

Tokyo Sox

Baka Gaijin
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Feb 16, 2006
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He's posted his follow-up article.  Nothing groundbreaking, I guess.  I'd like to see something more in depth on #2, as I'm not exactly sure how the domestic FA process works.
 
 
This subject probably requires expertise or research that exceeds what I have to offer, but I do have a few observations, ordered numerically for convenient reference, rather than in order of precedence.
  1. Most of the biggest stars move on MLB, rather than driving up their NPB salaries.
  2. Domestic free agency does increase salaries, but is so restrictive that only a small percentage of eligible players even file.
  3. Pre-free agency salaries tend to go year to year, and pay cuts for non-performance or injuries are a bit more common.
  4. The almost complete lack of agents in NPB.
  5. A cultural aversion to crossing the salary thresholds set by previous stars.
  6. Payroll is spread more equitably across the entire baseball operation.
  7. NPB teams are operated as business units of large corporations, rather than independent businesses funded by wealthy investors.