Spending on Foreign Players

» 07 May 2009 » In international baseball, npb, sports business »

Let’s take a look at how actively teams are spending on foreign players. Each NPB team is allowed to only have four foreign players on its 25-man roster, but there is no organizational limit on foreign players. Many teams choose to hold more, and allow them to compete for a roster spots. As you can see in the rankings, many teams are unable to maxmimize the foreign player slots on their 25-man roster.

Out of 39 foreign players on NPB 25-man rosters, 13 have previous experience in Japan with a different team. In-season additions like Jose Ortiz for the Softbank Hawks and Scott McClain by the Hiroshima Toyo Carp are two recent examples of this,  showing how teams are more likely to take a risk on a player that knows Japanese baseball rather than looking for new talent overseas.


Rank Team Amount Players 25-man roster
1 Tokyo Yomiuri Giants 17.93M 11 4
2 Orix Buffaloes 8.67M 6 4
3 Hanshin Tigers 5.45M 7 3
4 Softbank Hawks 3.99M 9 3
5 Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles 3.93M 6 4
6 Yokohama Baystars 3.56M 6 4
7 Hokkaido Nippon Ham Fighters 3.53M 5 3
8 Hiroshima Toyo Carp 3.12M 6 3
9 Seibu Lions 2.97M 5 2
10 Tokyo Yakult Swallows 2.25M 5 2
11 Chunichi Dragons 2.23M 5 3
12 Chiba Lotte Marines 1.92M 5 4

 * NPB rosters as of May 6, 2009

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  1. Ryo
    08/05/2009 at 2:29 am Permalink

    Are you excluding guys who don’t count against the import limit, like Alex Ramirez and Tuffy Rhodes?

  2. Ryo
    08/05/2009 at 5:35 am Permalink

    I included players like Alex Ramirez and Tuffy Rhodes and didn’t include Chen Weiyin of the Dragons and Lin Weichu of the Tigers to this piece.