Randy Bass, the Oklahoman whose 54 home runs for the Hanshin Tigers in 1985 was one short of the Japanese League record, reportedly has agreed to a contract for at least $650,000, making him the highest-paid player in Japan.
Bass, who was named league MVP after leading Hanshin to its first-ever championship, hit .350 and drove in 134 runs for the Tigers last season. The left-handed hitting first baseman, 31, has played the last three seasons for Hanshin, which is located in Osaka.
Bass, a native of Lawson, Okla., played for five major league teams in the United States from 1977 through 1982--the Twins, Royals, Expos, Padres and Rangers. His career major league average was only .215, with 7 home runs.
The second-highest paid player in Japan is another former major leaguer, ex-Expo Warren Cromartie, who was paid an estimated $424,000 by Tokyo's Yomuiri Giants last season.