2025 cannot come soon enough for Munetaka Murakami.
According to Kyoto News, Murakami and the Yakult Swallows have come to an agreement about his future. He will be posted after the 2025 season, when he will be 25 years old and no longer subject to any limitations as to how much he can receive once he is on the market.
Munetaka Murakami has to wait three more years
Until then, Murakami is getting a significant boost in pay. He signed a new three year deal with the Swallows, earning approximately 600 million yen per season, with the chance to increase his salary via incentives. This new contract puts him just behind Yuki Yanagita, whose 620 million yen contract makes him the highest paid position player in Japan.
Murikami certainly deserves that payday. He put together a historic season in 2022, winning the Triple Crown as he posted a .318/.458/.711 batting line with 56 homers and 21 doubles while stealing 12 bases. His 56 home runs were the most by any player born in Japan, breaking Sadaharu Oh’s record set back in 1964. He was named the Central League MVP for the second consecutive year, becoming the first player to win the award unanimously since Oh in 1977.
It is possible that there is even more for Murikami to accomplish. He will turn 23 years old at the beginning of February and is not close to his hypothetical prime. That three year contract and posting date of 2025 would make Murikami 25 years old when he comes over, giving major league teams reason to hope that there could still be another level he can reach.
That time frame is also advantageous for the Swallows. Murakami would not be subject to any limits as to how much he can receive as a contract. Considering that Masataka Yoshida landed a five year deal worth $90 million, with the Orix Buffaloes receiving $15.4 million, the Swallows could receive quite a payday.
Munetaka Murakami has firmly planted himself on the major league radar. Those teams now have a timeline as to when he will come over.