• Kyodo


Shinnosuke Abe, who until this year was the highest-paid player in Nippon Professional Baseball, agreed to a 36 percent pay cut on Wednesday with the Yomiuri Giants.

The 36-year-old Abe, a nine-time winner of the Central League’s Best IX Award at catcher, moved to first base this year and batted .242 with 15 home runs and 47 runs batted in. He received ¥510 million in the final year of a two-year contract.

“I didn’t contribute,” said Abe, who will become the Giants’ elder statesman, following teammate Yoshinobu Takahashi’s elevation to the managing job.

“I’ll be the oldest, and I want to carry my sense of duty on to the field every day.”

His new contract represents an estimated ¥184 million drop to ¥326 million. Under NPB’s charter, players earning over ¥100 million who are offered pay cuts of 40 percent can declare themselves free agents.

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