After years of being a four-team league, it seems the CPBL is another step closer to the league expansion with the possibility of adding a team from Australia in 2019.
The CPBL Commissioner 吳志揚 (Wu Chih-Yang) and Secretary-General 馮勝賢 (Feng Sheng-Xian) were invited to Australia to watch the ABL Championship Series. During their visit to Australia, the CEO of the Australian Baseball League Cam Vale has told commissioner Wu that the ABL is planning to submit a formal proposal to join the CPBL farm league in 2019, and aiming to have a first team playing in the regular CPBL season by 2020.
(Note – In CPBL, each team will have a first team and a farm team, just think of it as the major league team and the minor league team)
Possible Timeline for the ABL to Join CPBL
- The ABL to submit formal proposal in May 2018.
- Proposal to be reviewed by the team owners at the general assembly.
- Once approved, the ABL to join CPBL farm league for the entire 2019 season.
- CPBL will review/ evaluation the ABL at the end of 2019 farm league season.
- Once approved, promote the ABL team to participate CPBL regular season in 2020.
The Concerns We Have
- Source of players for this ABL team, which directly affect to the quality of the game. Especially during that time, all the Australian top baseball prospects are in the USA playing in the minor league system.
- Funding to run the Australian team in the CPBL, will Baseball Australia to be able to fund it? Despite their plan is to join the farm league, it is not going to be cheap to have a team permanently based in Taiwan.
- Game-fixing prevention. Since most players are foreign citizen there are less accountability when it comes to this. The CPBL have been incident free since 2009, it will be interesting to see what the CPBL and ABL have in mind to prevent that from happening.
Interview with Baseball Australia CEO Cam Vale
CPBL STATS have been fortunate enough to get the opportunity to talk with the ABL/ Baseball Australia CEO Cam Vale regarding to this potential joint-venture between the CPBL and Baseball Australia.
Mr Vale was able to shed some light on a few topics about the funding and the players source for this Australian team.
About the Funding to Participate in the CPBL
Cam Vale: Baseball Australia is exploring a range of options on funding the team, bringing in partners that see the value commercially in an Australian branded team playing in a major Baseball country like Taiwan.
We have some way to go, but the interest is high and we will continue to push this on the back of the great success with the viewership of the ABL this year out of Taiwan.
An important supporting part of this business model is to find good partners in Taiwan as well – from a host city/location and partners in Taiwan keen to engage in this unique idea and back into Australia.
Make up of the Australian Team for the CPBL
Cam Vale: If we start with a minor league team, it will be a predominantly Australian team, although we are keen to ensure we have some Taiwan players to ensure the team is connected to the city we play in.
We are very confident in our ability to attract good Australian players back from the USA and Asia, as well as those players that have limited opportunities outside the ABL. All Australian players I have spoken to are excited by this concept and keen to be part of it, and this will also give players the chance to be professional which is a difficulty for us to provide here in Australia.
We are keeping our options open in our discussions with the CPBL to be considering both Minor League and Major League, and depending on which one we start with, will impact on the make up of the team.
This has the opportunity to be a significant part of Australian sport and we look forward to the ongoing discussions with the CPBL and in the future the CPBL teams and fans, to ensure we consider the needs and requirements of all the key stakeholders in Taiwan.
CPBL STATS would like to thank Mr Vale for taking the time out of his busy schedule to speak with us about this. For latest Australia baseball news, visit Baseball Australia and The Australian Baseball League.