The average yearly salary for Japanese pro baseball players has reached an all-time high this season, according to the results of a survey released Monday by Yakult Swallows catcher Atsuya Furuta, the head of the players’ association.
Based on the salaries of the 727 professional players in Japan, the report revealed that the average yearly salary is 32.8 million yen.
The Yomiuri Giants have the highest average salary for the sixth year running, with the players making 54.5 million yen on average.
The average salary of the team’s opening-day roster — excluding the ballclub’s farm team players — was 97.6 million yen.
The report, however, revealed that the average salary rose only 2.1 percent this season, the smallest increase since the players’ association started conducting the survey.
The Giants, as well as the Chunichi Dragons, the Yakult Swallows, the Lotte Marines and the Hanshin Tigers all experienced increases in their average yearly salary, while the remaining seven teams — including the Japan Series champion Daiei Hawks — saw a decrease.
The average salary of Japanese players, however, is still well below the estimated $2 million (219 million yen) average yearly salary of their counterparts in the North American major leagues.