Show me the Money!! – 2010 Edition (Part 3)

After looking at  the big earners in part one, and the upwardly mobile in part two, in this final part of our annual monetary review, we’ll be looking at those whose salary will be a little more petite this coming season.

The Losers

Ryo Kawashima – The first of quite a number of pitchers who will see their salary fall this year. Ryo had a pretty poor 2009 (5-6/4.81 in 14 appearances), yet again failing to show any consistency as he continues to be one of the most infuriating starters on the Tokyo books.  He will see his salary fall by 5M to 43M yen for the year.

People have questioned his application and thirst for the game, but here’s hoping Kawashima can find a bit of something to make this year a successful one. Boy, could we do with the “good” Ryo in the rotation on a regular basis.

Kyohei Muranaka – The youngster was another starter to have a 2009 he’d probably rather forget, posting a shocking 7.12ERA to go with his 1 and 6 record in his 9 starts.

Yet again he entered the beginning of a season in the starting rotation, and yet again he left the rotation mid-season after sucking royally. Always looking like a rabbit caught in the headlights of the world’s largest truck when on the mound, he really needs to work on his confidence and self belief as he has the tools to make the grade.

Alarmingly, Takada has been talking about Kyohei having a shot at making the mound to start on opening day, so either our “manager” is just flexing his motivational muscles to try and gee up his pitcher during spring camp, or Takada is even more mentally challenged than we thought.

Whichever it is, Muranaka will take home 18M yen in 2010, down 4M.

Yasuhiro Ichiba – Aquired in a trade with Rakuten (that saw utility man Miyade head the other way), the Swallows coaching team has so far failed to find a way to realize the potential buried within the pitcher. The same potential that had caused him to be so highly coveted as an amateur.

The change of team made little difference as he posted a 1-5/7.88 record in his 9 appearances in the Swallows uniform. This year he will be another of the guys on the pitching staff vying to clamber their way out of the barrel marked “really must do better”.

He will see his salary shrink by 3.5M to 19.5M yen.

Tatsuyoshi Masubuchi – Drafted from High School in 2007, the chunky pitcher found his chances limited in 2009 by way of a batted baseball taken on the chin during practice in April.

After working his way back from that rather painful setback, and a decent few starts on the farm team, Masubuchi stunk out Koshien in his only appearance of the year for the top team in a key September game against the Tigers.

Well, he’s shaved his head in preparation for a successful 2010, and with this year’s rotation still being far far from settled he’s in with as good a shot as anyone else of being in it.

He’ll see his salary fall by 4M to 12M yen for this season.

Hirotoshi Ishii – A man who could once lay claim to being one of Japan’s (if not THE) premier closers (37 saves and 1.95ERA in 2005), a shoulder injury has pretty much destroyed his career and kept him out for what now seems like aeons.

With Igarashi now in New York, the timing is right as Ishii looks to make a comeback in 2010. Tokyo are hoping he will be able to slip into the set-up role vacated by Ryota, and I for one would be overjoyed to see him back on the mound. But I won’t believe it until I see it.

His salary will be 28M yen this year, down 12M. And as an indicator of just how far he has fallen, his salary for 2006 (the year in which he ended up having surgery on his left shoulder): 150M.

Kazuhiro Hatakeyama – After his breakout year in 2008, the chunky infielder struggled to replicate the performance in 2009, batting .236 in the 85 games in which he featured.

With the newcomer from Hanshin Fujimoto, and the re-signing of first baseman D’Antona, the chunky-one may well see his chances limited this coming season, meaning he’ll really need to produce when called upon to stand any chance of holding down a spot in the starting nine.

Hatake’s salary will be 28M this season, down 4M.

Yasushi Iihara – One of Tsubamegun’s favourite players, Yasushi will see his coffers shrink by 5M to 45M in 2010.

The talented speedster hit a respectable .250 last season, but saw his starting chances limited by not having a natural role in the field (he’s been tried in the infield and stunk). Plus the 2009 resurgence of Guiel meant that there was one less hole for him to occupy in the outfield (he’s not going to replace Aoki now is he?), which leaves him vying with Fukuchi for the spot in left.

Hopefully we’ll see more of  Iihara in 2010, but I’ve got the feeling that Takada just doesn’t fancy him. Which is a shame.

Yuichi Matsumoto – Utility man will see a 18M yen salary this year (down 3M).  Now in his late 20s, I think it’s time to face the fact that Yuichi is simply nothing more than a bench-warmer, and he certainly shouldn’t be keeping the likes of Ihara off any teamsheet.

And finally, to bring all this unsavoury talk of money to a close, here are the new faces for 2010 and what they’ll be costing:

Atsushi Fujimoto – 36M

Tony Barnette – 37.2M

Eulogio De La Cruz – 15M

Plus last, and quite possibly least:

David Watkins/Christopher Pellegrini/Garrett DeOrio – A big fat zero (at least from the Swallows anyway). We’re currently waiting for our salary negotiations  to begin. A wait that may well last a lifetime (which will likely be a drastically shortened one, thanks to the team we’ve chosen to follow).

About David Watkins

David is a baseball bothering Brummie who spends a fair portion of his life fretting over the Tokyo Swallows and the WORLD'S GREATEST FOOTBALL TEAM, Aston Villa. He completes the quartet of abusive sporting relationships by being a die hard New York Knicks and Mets fan. You can find him on twitter: @yakulto

  • Christopher Pellegrini

    I can’t even tell you how much I would love for Ishii to have a positive impact this year. We’d have to invent a new word for the euphoria that such a turn of events would invoke.

    On the other hand, you guys already know how I feel about the starters mentioned above (well, Garrett and Dave do at any rate). I’ve got a little bit of patience left for Ichiba since he’s only thrown for one season under Araki, but that’s about it.

    Anyway, the real reason why I started this comment was to say that this has been a great trio of posts, Dave.

  • James

    Definitely agree, really top posts these. Appreciate the insight into the financial side of things,



  • Well, we'll keep soldiering on I guess.

    Hopefully get to rub elbows with a few more of the guys this season. That'll help make up for it I suppose.

  • Well, we'll keep soldiering on I guess.

    Hopefully get to rub elbows with a few more of the guys this season. That'll help make up for it I suppose.