Categorized | Asia

Korea: KBO Makes Changes to Imports and Will Expand

Korea: KBO Makes Changes to Imports and Will Expand

There are a lot of changes going on in the Korean Baseball Organization that could really change the landscape of the game in the Land of the Morning Calm.

For years now there has been a limit of two foreign players for each team, and over the past few years all of these spots have been taken up by pitchers. However, the league has decided to expand the roster spots for foreign players to three beginning with the 2014 season.  The teams have quickly begun snapping up some former MLB talent to add to their rosters including some position players.

Already signed this off season has been infielder Jorge Cantu by the Doosan Bears, outfielder Felix Pie by the Hanwha Eagles, and infielder/DH Luke Scott by the SK Wyverns.

Another change deals with the foreign players as well as the league is lifting the salary cap on these imports. Previously players were maxed out at a level of $300,000 for a year. Many of the contracts were reported as $250,000 salary with a $50,000 signing bonus. Now that will be lifted and should bring in some bigger talent to the league.

This is the the third time the salary cap has been changed. Initially the cap was at $120,000. It was then raised to $200,000 in 1999 and to $300,000 in 2004.

The third and final change to take place will happen in 2015 when the league expands to 10 teams with the new KT Wiz take the field for the first time. The league currently sits at 9 teams after the NC Dinos joined in last season.

The Samsung Lions will look to defend the three straight titles won over the past few seasons in 2014, but with the addition of some new bats they will be challenged like never before.

About Eric Bynum
Eric Bynum is Managing Editor here at BaseballdeWorld. He spent three years as an ESL teacher in South Korea, and is now working on his master's degree in history with a focus on baseball and WWII. He has played and/or written about baseball for the past 30 years and is an avid Atlanta Braves fan.

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