Alright, here we go, it’s time for the always popular post on Japanese team payrolls.
These payroll figures are a little different from MLB numbers in that each team’s payroll covers its entire 70-man shihaika roster. This includes minor leaguers, but not players on the ikusei roster. So the average per player is a bit lower than if it were narrowed down to the top 25 or 40 players. NPB is also a little more egalitarian in the sense that minor leaguers earn a livable wage off.
My US dollar figures are based on an exchange rate of JPY102.5/$1, which was the market rate at the of writing. The Yen has weakened against the US Dollar by about 10 percent over the last year, so take the conversions with a grain of salt.
And aside from that, I’ll let the data speak for itself:
|Team||League||Payroll JPY||Payroll USD||Average Per Player|
|Yomiuri||Central||￥4,659,100,000||$45.45m||63 players, avg ￥73.95m/$721k|
|Softbank||Pacific||￥4,000,300,000||$39m||65 players, avg ￥61.54/$600k|
|Hanshin||Central||￥3,235,500,000||$31.56m||66 players, avg ￥49.05m/$478k|
|Rakuten||Pacific||￥2,789,800,000||$27.22m||62 players, avg ￥45m/$439k|
|Chunichi||Central||￥2,633,000,000||$25.69m||68 players, avg ￥38.36m/$374k|
|Lotte||Pacific||￥2,491,450,000||$24.3m||64 players, avg ￥38.93m/$380k|
|Nippon Ham||Pacific||￥2,410,500,000||$23.5m||67 players, avg ￥35.84m/$349k|
|Orix||Pacific||￥2,397,250,000||$23.38m||67 players, avg ￥35.78m/$349k|
|Yakult||Central||￥2,386,200,000||$23.28m||66 players avg ￥36.15m/$353k|
|Seibu||Pacific||￥2,242,600,000||$21.88m||65 players avg ￥34.50m/$340k|
|Hiroshima||Central||￥2,061,170,000||$20.1m||66 players, avg ￥31.23m/$305k|
|DeNA||Central||￥1,9270,000,000||$18.8m||65 players, avg ￥29.65m/$290k|
To add context, here are some interesting facts about NPB salaries:
- 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
- The lowest paid shihaika roster player is Rakuten rookie pitcher Ryuta Konno, at JPY4.4m ($44k).
I’ll delve into why Japanese baseball salaries aren’t higher in a later article.