NISHINOMIYA, Hyogo Pref. – Hanshin Tigers slugger Tomoaki Kanemoto on Thursday re-signed with the Central League club for a three-year deal carrying 550 million yen in annual salary, the highest for an active Japanese player in the coming season.
The 38-year-old outfielder clinched a deal that more than doubled his annual salary of around 260 million yen this past season and came close to the record high of 650 million yen earned by Yokohama BayStars closer Kazuhiro Sasaki in 2004-2005.
South Korean Lee Seung Yeop will make 700 million yen in 2007 as part of his four-year, 3-billion yen contract with the Yomiuri Giants.
Kanemoto batted .303 and led the team with 26 homers and 98 RBIs in 2006. On April 9, he broke what is believed to be a major league record held by former Baltimore Orioles star Cal Ripken Jr., extending his streak of playing every inning of every game to 904 regular-season games in Japanese baseball.