1st Year Foreign Player Payscale

» 22 December 2013 » In nichibei, npb »

I get asked from time to time how much ball players make in Japan, particularly the foreign ones. With Kevin Youkilis becoming the latest bari bari Major Leaguer to venture to NPB, it seemed like a good time to publish this rough guideline.

This was part of a longer article, from my train commute ramblings, thats unfinished and kind of outdated, so the salaries don’t reflect what’s happened so far in the 2013-2014 offseason. That said, it’s still mostly accurate. “Mostly” is kind of a key word, because there is always going to be some variance from team to team, and with injury history and other factors. This is a basic framework.

Salary Range Profile Recent Examples
$3M+ MLB All-Star Experience Andruw Jones, Bryan LaHair, Vicente Padilla
$1M-3M a couple of complete seasons as an MLB regular, maybe a few years in the past; elite Korean players Casey McGehee, Jose Lopez, Nyjer Morgan, Dae-Ho Lee
$400k-1M “4A player”; fringe 40-man roster player, consistently strong performance in 3A; varying MLB experience; strong performance in Korea Daniel Cabrera, Ryan Spilborghs, Fred Lewis, Jason Dickson, John Bowker, Matt Clark, Brooks Conrad
$100k-300k 2A/3A experience, Taiwan, Mexico, US independent leagues, etc Michel Abreu, Orlando Roman, Jim Heuser
<$100k non-ikusei veteran; Japanese independent leagues; Carribean Winter Leagues; Italian League Alessandro Maestri, Enyelbert Soto
$25k-50k “ikusei” player; Dominican/Venezuelan Summer League; Japanese independent leagues Edgar Lara, Edison Barrios, Abner Abreu

For more on NPB payrolls, please see this post.

Update: If you’re new here, consider following me on Twitter: @npbtracker. I update my Twitter account more often than the website.

Tags: , , ,

Trackback URL

  1. Patrick
    22/12/2013 at 9:13 pm Permalink

    Great information; thanks for sharing it. Could you comment on what kinds of perks the upper-echelon, former MLB players receive? I think I remember hearing or reading something several years ago that some of these players receive, complements of the team, luxury housing and transportation, a full-time housekeeping staff and interpreter, etc. Any truth there? Are there other (tangible) incentives?

  2. Patrick
    23/12/2013 at 9:41 am Permalink

    Padilla’s first name is Vicente, not Vincent. Vicente Padilla

  3. Patrick
    23/12/2013 at 11:06 am Permalink

    Thanks, updated.

  4. Patrick
    23/12/2013 at 8:19 pm Permalink

    @Patrick.. AM said Vicente.. you said you updated but it says Vincente!! Is it vicente or viNcente??? Now I doubt this is credible info, careless?!!

  5. Patrick
    24/12/2013 at 12:05 am Permalink

    Yep, you’re right. My ability to spell Padilla’s name is questionable and any subsequent attempts to spell his name should be looked upon with skepticism.


  1. npbtracker 03/03/2014 at 9:23 am

    @npbtracker Van Mil and Mitre have nowhere to go but up: http://t.co/BLGP2k6T9w

  2. yakyunightowl 03/03/2014 at 9:24 am

    RT @npbtracker: @npbtracker Van Mil and Mitre have nowhere to go but up: http://t.co/BLGP2k6T9w