I know some folks on here follow baseball in Japan. I have a rooting interest this year and am looking for a good daily resource to news. My cousin’s son signed with Hanshin Tigers. He was a free agent relief pitcher and with the labor situation, he decided to go sign where he knew he would have a paycheck. Due to the Covid spike, he just arrived in Japan two days ago and the season starts on the 25th so he will have a shortened spring.
Any suggestions for good NPB english news sources?
Hey, I saw him play in Tokyo in ‘19! The Swallows got 2-hit that night, really a terrible performance, but from the box score it looks like Murakami drew the team’s only walk. Not that I remember it—I was mostly there to see 2017 legend Nori Aoki.
Murakami hit his 54th and 55th homers on Tuesday. He has 17 games remaining in the season.
While I’m sure geezerdonk’s comment was snark, I’ll clarify his status. He’s never publicly indicated a desire to play in MLB. And even when he does the Swallows would then have to agree to post him. So as of right now any speculation about a move stateside is premature.
BTW, ex-Astro Cy Sneed is Murakami’s teammate with Yakult.
That rule has now been in place since (I believe) 2017. Is it dumb and shortsighted? Absolutely, but MLB is all about labor cost suppression so here we are. It should be noted that despite the restriction Ohtani decided to come anyway.
So the rule for avoiding bonus size restrictions is that the player must be age 25 or older and have spent all or part of 6 years in a foreign league. Murakami has met the latter but doesn’t turn 25 until February of 2025. So 2025 would be the earliest he could come. Unless he wants to do an Ohtani and is willing to accept a paltry few million bucks for signing. And again even in that case the Swallows would still have to agree to post him.
Context matters here when considering how NPB players might view a (relatively) low initial salary prior to their 25th year. The NPB average salary is $330K (vs $4.41M for MLB players) and the Top 10 highest payed players in the league make between $4.2M and $8.2M per year. And, the salary trajectory over there is a slow upward trend, well managed by the league. Murakami is #91 on the highest paid players list over there, which equates to $920K. A paltry few mil would be a massive raise, especially with the potential for much more later. Assuming the Swallows would indeed post him.