CPBL Foreign Players Updates Volume #49
Fubon Guardians News
The Fubon Guardians have finally confirmed the signing of the former Chinatrust Brothers and the Uni-Lions ace Bryan Woodall and Bruce Billings.
This signing is probably one of the worst kept secrets in this offseason, as there have been plenty of rumours and speculations about how the Guardians are going after Woodall and Billings.
Due to the current CPBL regulation, the Guardians are forbid to contact Woodall and Billings before February 28th, unless they have the permission from the Brothers and Uni-Lions.
As a result of signing Mike Loree, Bryan Woodall and Bruce Billings, the Guardians have officially filled their quota of the three foreign players in the first team for the 2018 season.
The former Chinatrust Brothers ace was first signed by the Brothers back in 2015, and have quickly becomes one of the most consistent and reliable pitchers in the Brothers starting rotation.
Just like the 2017 CPBL Pitching Triple Crown Mike Loree, Woodall is the type of player that can give the bullpen a rest day whenever he is on the mound, as he is able to go out there to throw strikes and carry the team deep into the game.
In three CPBL seasons pitching for the Brothers organisation, Woodall totaled a 3.67 ERA and 1.28 WHIP over 51 starts and 336 innings.
Former Chinatrust Brothers ace Bryan Woodall (@BWOODALL15) will go to the #Fubon Guardians this season. Here's Woodall's pitching highlight from last season. https://t.co/jG92Zvp6Vv #CPBL pic.twitter.com/DVWVFapdZt
— CPBL STATS (@GOCPBL) March 4, 2018
The fans’ favourite Billings along with Jair Jurrjens and Felix Pie joined the Uni-Lions back in 2016 as the Opening Day foreign players. However, only Billings lasted the entire season in the CPBL, both Jurrjens and Pie were released by the team mid-season.
In two seasons pitching for the Lions, Billings posted a combined record of 4.77 ERA and 1.51 WHIP over 56 starts and 315 innings. It is also worth to mention he won the 2016 CPBL strikeout title with 172 strikeouts.
Former Uni-Lions ace Bruce Billings (@BrucieJr) is heading to #Fubon Guardians this season. Here's Billings pitching highlight from the 2017 #CPBL season. https://t.co/jG92Zvp6Vv pic.twitter.com/b0hEcc9JzN
— CPBL STATS (@GOCPBL) March 4, 2018
Foreign players come and goes, therefore we have compiled a foreign players tracker to keep track of all the foreign players for the 2018 CPBL season.
I note that as of April 24th, all 12 foreign pitchers set to start the 2018 CPBL season will be at least 30 years old. That certainly bucks the trend we’ve seen in the KBO and NPB this off-season, where there is a definite preference for rookie foreign pitchers in the 26 to 29 year old age range.
The age difference probably has mostly to do with the types of pitchers each league hopes to attract given their respective salary structures. The KBO and NPB get the best available 26 to 29 year olds willing to pitch in Asia, because they are paying out MLB-level salaries. These pitchers still have some shot at pitching in the MLB major leagues at least a little bit, which would make the CPBL and its lower salaries a tough sell.
By age 30, the pitchers CPBL teams sign realize that the CBPL is their last real shot at making real money to play professional baseball. Also, veteran pitchers probably adjust better to a league where pitchers face the same hitters over and over again in the course of the season. The down-side to older pitchers, of course, is that they are more likely to get hurt or to suddenly loose effectiveness.
Yeah, you are correct. The CPBL is essentially the last league in the world where they can make some decent money playing baseball professionally. Because the next tier down is the LMB at $8000 a month I believe.
Also using the CPBL as a springboard into the KBO and NPB might be another selling point for those imports.
Oh, remember that Eric Hacker rumour? Apparently, both the Uni-Lions and the Guardians were approached by his agent. But Hacker want too much money, so they did not agree to term. Uni-Lions did mentioned if Hacker willing to lower his price, maybe they will consider signing him mid-season.
One of the 20 imported pitchers in the KBO may get hurt or prove ineffective, and that might be Hacker’s opportunity to return there. Andy Van Hekken, who has had tremendous success in the KBO, is trying to make a return to the MLB system after none of the KBO teams would sign him this off-season. He may also be a candidate to return to the KBO as a later season replacement.
One thing that could work for older pitchers like Hacker or Van Hekken would be to sign with a CPBL team for CPBL money, but with an agreement that their CPBL team will sell them to a KBO team for a fixed price if a KBO team comes calling later in the season. However, that would mean that the CPBL team would lose one of its better pitchers in season, so it might not work for a CPBL team. KBO teams, however, often wait to about the half season mark to make changes among their foreign players, so it could potentially work since CPBL teams only guarantee their foreign imports half season contracts.