Yamada Offered Record Contract by Swallows

Nippon Professional Baseball is doing their best to keep their best in Japan. Yuki Yanagita recently signed a seven year contract to stay with the Hawks. Shortstop Hayato Sakamoto resigned with the Giants and at 32 years of age and 2,000 hits appears to be a lifefime NPBer. Now the Swallows are offering the 28 year old “Mike Trout of Japan” Tetsuto Yamada a seven year contract worth a little over $43 million to stay in Japan.

The second baseman has had an amazing career with the Swallows, who have not rewarded his excellence with wins, finishing at the bottom of the standings for most of his career. He has had four seasons in which he has hit over 30 homeruns and stolen over 30 bases. He has had two seasons where he has walked over 100 times and he has hit over .300 four times in his nine NPB seasons. During that time the Swallows have only made the playoffs three times. That sounds very Trout like, but at least there have been playoff appearances.

The 2020 season was a bit of an anomaly as he struggled with injuries. His .254 average was the second lowest of his career and his strikeout to walk numbers were also poor. This might be the best opportunity for him to take the contract.

The next on the list to be deprived of the major leagues will probably be outfielder Seiya Suzuki of the Hiroshima Carp. He has hit over .300 and slugged more than 25 homeruns his last five years. Now that the market is establishing for position players he could be the next top player to sign a large contract.

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