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Relief pitcher Lim gets huge raise from Japanese team

Posted November. 29, 2010 11:27,   


Closer Lim Chang-yong has renewed with Japan`s Yakult Swallows with a three-year deal worth 1.5 billion Japanese yen (18 million U.S. dollars).

His agent Park Yoo-hyun said Sunday, “Lim renewed with the Yakult Swallows for a guaranteed two-year contract plus a one-year option. His annual salary will be 400 million yen (4.8 million dollars), plus 300 million yen (3.8 million dollars) in incentives including signing bonus and options. Lim also opened the possibility of going to play in the U.S. majors after two years.”

This is one of the richest contracts in Japanese pro baseball. Only two pitchers in Japan earn more than 400 million yen (4.8 million dollars): Hitoki Iwase of the Chunichi Dragons with 430 million yen (5.1 million dollars) and Fujikawa Kyuji of the Hanshin Tigers with 400 million yen.

Last season, Lim had his best performance in his three years in Japan with 35 saves and a 1-2 record.

“Yakult accepted me when I was having one of my toughest times. I could earn more at other teams but decided to stay at Yakult because the team atmosphere is very good and I am close to many players here,” he said.

Lim’s annual salary was 25 million yen (300,000 dollars) in his first year in Japan in 2008, and that figure has risen more than 15 times just three years later.