Despite a 20-million-yen pay cut from this year, Koji Uehara became the highest-paid pitcher in Japan, when he re-signed on Thursday with the Yomiuri Giants for an estimated 340 million yen.
At the same time, the 30-year-old Uehara said, “I promised Yomiuri club representative Hidetoshi Kiyotake that I won’t try to pursue a career in the major leagues via the posting system.”
“Although I still want to pitch in the majors, I’ve decided to wait until I become a free agent,” he said.
Uehara was 9-12 with a 3.31 ERA in 27 games this year, the first time in his seven-year career that his losses outnumbered wins.
But he will still earn the highest annual salary among Japanese pitchers for next year, while Nippon Ham Fighters infielder Michihiro Ogasawara will be the highest-paid position player with 380 million yen.
“I’m so glad that Uehara decided not to ask for the posting system, which is not favorable. His decision is good for not only the Giants but Japanese baseball,” Kiyotake said.
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