2009 NPB Team Payroll Ranking

» 25 April 2009 » In international baseball, npb, sports business »

This ranking is based on calculating information from Daily Sports Online, and converting into US dollars at the April 24 dollar-yen exchange rate from Google Finance. The numbers are based on the start of the 2009 season. I hope this will be interesting and insightful for new NPB fans to learn how much Japanese teams pay their players.

Rank Team Payroll Players Under Contract Highest Paid Player
1 Yomiuri Giants $45.30M 78 Seung-Youp Lee, $6.2M
2 Hanshin Tigers $40.49M 74 Tomoaki Kanemoto, $5.6M
3 Softbank Hawks $34.11M 74 Nobuhiko Matsunaka, $5.1M
4 Chunichi Dragons $30.02M 70 Hitoki Iwase, $4.4M
5 Chiba Lotte Marines $27.67M 78 Naoyuki Shimizu, $2.4M
6 Seibu Lions $26.75M 68 Kazuhisa Ishii, $2.8M
7 Orix Buffaloes $26.04M 69 Tuffy Rhodes, $3.3M
8 Hokkaido Nippon Ham Fighters $24.97M 66 Atsunori Inaba, $3M
9  Tokyo Yakult Swallows $23.77M 71 Norichika Aoki,$ 2.6M
10 Yokohama Baystars $23.03M 68 Shuichi Murata, $2.6M
11 Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles $20.74M 67 Hisashi Iwakuma, $3M
12 Hiroshima Toyo Carp $17.71M 70 Katsuhiro Nagakawa, $1.6M
  • One note is that teams with more than 70 players on contract are from the existence of ikusei (training) players.

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  1. Ryo
    Patrick R. Park
    25/04/2009 at 9:07 am Permalink

    Wow, I wish MLB would look at this…pretty powerful message. The Giants are roughly equivalent to the Tampa Rays!

  2. Ryo
    25/04/2009 at 10:12 am Permalink

    Keep in mind, also, that this is for ~70 players under contract. This includes the minor leaguers each team has on the payroll.

    Thanks for putting this together Ryo.

  3. Ryo
    Patrick R. Park
    25/04/2009 at 3:49 pm Permalink

    I’m a little confused though…how exactly are these numbers calculated? I read “60000” but what does that mean exactly? 60000 yen don’t convert to $6.2 million.

  4. Ryo
    25/04/2009 at 5:20 pm Permalink

    The yen figures are in units of 10,000 (“ichi-man”). So 60,000 is really 600,000,000 which is about $6.2m at the current exchange rate.

  5. Ryo
    25/04/2009 at 8:45 pm Permalink

    Thanks Patrick for the clarification. That is exactly how I calcualted and converted from yen to dollars.

  6. Ryo
    27/04/2009 at 1:05 am Permalink

    In perspective, the Lions got 2 years worth of entire payroll for Matsuzaka (and are defending champions at the end of these 2 years)


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