Darvish Signs for 2009
Yu Darvish has renewed his contract for ￥270m ($2.7m), a ￥70m ($700k) increase over 2008. Although Darvish was expected to hit the ￥300m ($3m) mark, he still set a record high for 5th-year players. “The team didn’t win and I didn’t earn any personal titles,” explained Darvish.
NPB players are under team control for a minimum of eight years, and pre-free agent players sign get multi-year contracts (not that I’ve heard of anyway). So each offseason players and teams negotiate salaries for the upcoming season. It’s a little like the arbitration process in MLB, but players’ salaries will decrease after a bad year, and there’s never a third party mediator involved. Players who hold out sometimes pay their own way to spring training.