The Chiba Lotte Marines pulled in 8B yen in sales this past season. In comparison, the Yomiuri Giants and Hanshin Tigers raked in about 20B yen. So unlike the Giants and Tigers, the Marines need to be careful about how and where they spend their money. And that 45M yen raise the Marines gave Toshiaki Imae on Friday is apparently the upper limit on raises that the team can afford.
For players that aren't satisfied with what the team can afford, it seems the team is willing to give them an option to leave via trade. Even long time players aren't necessarily safe, as the Marines shipped Naoyuki Shimizu off to Yokohama last year in a salary dump (they moved Shimizu's 200M+ salary for two players that made less than 35M yen combined).
And so the Marines are now looking into younger players because they're cheaper and easier to control.
"Since about last year, we decided to switch over to developing our own talent," said team director Akira Ishikawa.
And team president Ryuzo Setoyama said, "We want to build a championship team with the lowest yearly salary. That's our ideal [situation]."