CPBL Foreign Players Updates Volume #43

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Lamigo Monkeys News: Michael Nix

According to CNA, the Lamigo Monkeys have signed former Uni-Lions RHP Michael Nix for the 2018 CPBL season.  The Monkeys have not confirmed the signing of Nix yet, but several sources have indicated that it is already a done deal.

Back in 2005, the 35-year-old RHP was drafted by the Atlanta Braves in the 11th round.  Over the years, Nix peaked at the Triple-A level, with combined records of 4.42 ERA and 1.58 WHIP over 79.1 innings.

Prior to his signing with the Uni-Lions in 2017, Nix produced an impressive 2.24 ERA and 1.00 WHIP with 100.2 innings of work in the Atlantic League, at the same time leading the league in ERA.

Nix was signed by the Uni-Lions in late July and made his CPBL first team debut in August.  He wound up posting a 5.40 ERA and 1.46 WHIP across 9 starts and 56.2 innings, with 56 strikeouts and 16 walks.

Further Readings

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.



  1. Nix is old, but he pitched pretty well in the CPBL last year, particularly in terms of strikeout rate. He’s a known commodity, and he’s probably relatively cheap ($10,000 to $15,000 per month?).

    • Not sure, but probably between $18,000 to $20,000 per month for Nix? Haven’t seen many players got signed for less than $15,000 per month for many seasons already. That price range is probably during the dark age, the game fixing era.

      Given Lamigo plan to sign Segovia their #3 starter for $20,000 per month. Nix shouldn’t fall under $15,000 per month in my opinion. I’ll update it once there’s rumour about his salary.

    • More salary information for your reference: This is the data I gathered from 2016 season.

      I can’t remember if I told you this before or not. But their previous MLB/ MiLB levels plays a big part in their salary. Generally if they made it to 3A, it’s around $20,000 a month or higher, and obviously lesser the level, lower they get paid.

      Ryan Searle – From my understanding he wasn’t expensive at all. It’s your typical ABL signing price about $10,000 a month. But I feel like he wasn’t getting enough rest prior coming to Taiwan. It’s a shame he didn’t work out.

      Orlando Roman – $20,000 a month + incentive

      Greg Smith – Between $19,000 to $20,000 a month.

      Mitch Talbot – Wasn’t as expensive as people expected around $15,000 to $17,000 a month. Also heard rumour Lamigo was planning to offer him 1.5 years contract to lock him down.

      Jair Jurrjens – I heard report it’s over $25,000 a month.

      Generally speaking. Uni-Lions pay their foreign players higher. With Lamigo Monkeys being the cheapest team. But recently the order might change now with Fubon Financial and Chinatrust Financial both in the CPBL.

      • Mitch Talbot made $600,000 pitching in the KBO in 2015. Surprising he earned so little to pitch for Lamigo in 2016. Any idea what Zeke Spruill made with the Monkeys in 2017? Did Spruill get a full season contract? He made $700,000 in 2016 in the KBO.

        • Yeah, Talbot’s price was a big surprised to everyone. Because he definitely doesn’t belong to the under $20,000 a month bracket.

          I haven’t seen any “official reports or rumour” on Zeke Spruill salary packaging in 2017. But from my understanding Spruill was not cheap. So, I’ll be putting him on $22,000 to $26,000 a month bracket?

          Got one more salary figures for you. This veteran pitcher Ken Ray. He spent the entire 2017 season in Monkeys farm team as a back up. His farm league salary was about $10,000 a month (Should he get called up, salary will adjust to the top team bracket)

          • $10,000 a month is a lot for a CPBL minor league pitcher. Ray was 42 last summer, though, and it’s unlikely he’d still be playing without making living wages.

            I wonder if Spruill got any MLB minor league offers for 2017 before he signed with Lamigo. Spruill pitched in the majors, so his minimum minor league salary would have been around $85,000 per year. Spruill pitched well enough in the AAA International League in 2015 and in the KBO in 2016 that he should have received a minor league offer, particularly given that he was still only 27 in 2017.

            If Spruill had not yet received a minor league offer, then $22,000 to $26,000 a month to play in Taiwan sounds pretty inviting.

          • Maybe Lamigo will sign 35 year old Travis Blackley to replace Ken Ray to be their $10,000 a month minor league pitcher in 2018. Blackley pitched fairly well in the ABL this winter.

        • Maybe Blackley will go Chinatrust Brothers? He did played for Brothers skipper Cory Snyder during Snyder’s time managing in the Mexican League. Or maybe we can see Blackley as a mid-season import?

          As for Ray’s situation. I think his role was being the “temporary back up” just in case Spruill, Downs and Segovia didn’t work out and they need someone to fill that gap before they can get another proper pitcher in.

          Ray and the team management also got along well apparently, managed to stay in contact even when he left CPBL to play in the NPB.

  2. I would expect Segovia to be paid substantially more than Nix in 2018, based on Segovia’s much greater past CPBL success. The CPBL draws a lot of pitchers out of the Atlantic League, where salaries cap at $3000 a month, so a5.5 month long Atlantic League season pays only $16,500. At that rate, a three month guarantee at $10,000 per month ($30,000) from a CPBL team would be a big increase in pay.

    The best Atlantic League pitchers with one day of past MLB major league service must be paid about $85,000 per full season for MLB-system minor league service, which is why the CPBL must pay former MLB major leaguers more money than players who have only played in the minor leagues. Even if that pitcher is now pitching in the Atlantic League, if he’s pitching well enough to interest a CPBL team, there is a possibility the player could still sign with an MLB team for $85,000 per annum, meaning CPBL teams have to beat that.

    • $85,000 a year that’s still quite manageable. Do you have any rough idea on the average price range for the buyout price if a team purchased a contract from of the Atlantic League?

  3. I think it is super low. I have read that the Indy-A American Association (“AA”) charges a flat rate of $4,000 to transfer a player’s rights to a better league, and the player gets $1,000 of that as a bonus.

    More than a third of Atlantic League regulars (60-80) move on and up to a better paying league each season. I would guesstimate that the Atlantic League probably charges a flat fee of $5,000 for a transfer, of the which player probably gets $1,000-$1,500. The Atlantic League and AA, where salaries cap at $2,100 per month, charge very low transfer fees because it’s how they get good players to play so cheaply.

    The Mexican League charges much more, probably much closer to what the KBO and NPB pay CPBL teams for their players, like the recently in the news Nick Additon, depending on how valuable the Mexican League thinks the player is to its own attendance. I think without being certain that a Mexican League team holds a foreign player’s rights for the length of the season, but that a pitcher like Mitch Lively is probably free for a CPBL team to sign in the off-season.

    • Former Chinatrust Brothers’ RHP Chen Hung-Wen from the Cubs organisations (3A), apparently his buyout price was $100,000, but Brothers and Cubs comes to an agreement of $50,000. But he was on-loan to Mexican League at the time. So, I’m not really sure who own his contract.

      • If the Cubs received the $50,000 from the Brothers, then the Cubs must have owned his rights. I would assume that the Mexican League team paid the Cubs some amount to have Chen on their team for the rest of that season, because the Cubs didn’t have a roster spot available for Chen at AA or AAA, but didn’t want to give up on him completely because of his age and talent level. It may also have been a way for Chen to make a higher monthly salary than he made in the U.S. minor leagues since he had no major league experience.

        Once the Mexican League season ended, the Cubs could sell his rights to the Brothers. MLB teams will often sell players they don’t think are good bets to become major league stars to Asian teams for a fairly standard price range depending on which league the player will go to. Obviously, the KBO and NPB pay more for rights than a CPBL could or would.

  4. Something that CPBL should do as a subtle way to attract attention to Taiwanese professional baseball is to find someone to provide the stats, provided on the CPBL’s website in Chinese, with the players’ names using European letters, to baseball-reference.com. It has for a few years now, once Baseball Reference started publishing stats for the flight-by-night Indy-A Leagues, like the Pecos League (pay $50 per week) and the Pacific Association (pay on average about $4,000 per season), been the website’s one glaring omission not to provide CPBL stats. According to Baseball Reference, Mike Loree hasn’t pitched since 2012.

    I’ve written to Baseball Reference about including CPBL stats, but they responded that they would need someone to provide them the stats with the players’ names in European alphabet. Obviously, providing CBPL stats to the site with the largest, free on-line data base for baseball stats would make a lot more people around the world aware of and potentially interested in the CPBL.

    • A friend of mine also reached out to Baseball Reference in the past. And this is the direct quote from Sean Forman, when asked about having CPBL stats on Baseball Reference. “No, if a source shook out we might consider it.”

      I also tried contacting CPBL official site years ago about adding romanisation names. But as always, no reply, it’s like shooting emails into blackhole with them.

      Adding romanisation next to CPBL players names is my next to do list. But man… it’s a big job. I have to find a more efficient/ accurate way to do it. As in Taiwan, there’s no official way to do, there are 4 different methods.

      The perfect example would be this recent signing of Teng Kai-Wei / Deng Kai-Wei by the Twins. In Taiwan or during his time playing for the junior national team, he goes by Deng, but he decided to registered under Teng in the United States.

  5. It’s a problem also with Korean names. They are susceptible to multiple different spellings using the Western European (Roman) alphabet. For example, names on the KBO’s English language website do not all conform to what Baseball Reference has on theirs.

    I think that CPBL ought to be involved in providing Roman alphabet names for its player stats, since the league would ultimately benefit. Every foreign player who has ever played in the CPBL has extensive stats from other seasons in other leagues, and at this point many, many Taiwanese CPBL players have played in NPB or MLB. It’s just a shame that outside of Taiwan, no one really knows what players in the CPBL are accomplishing. Without stats available and being a small league with only four teams, the CPBL flies under the radar.

    • Yeah, hopefully CPBL official can do it on their end. This will make everyone’s life some much easier. It’s a nightmare for me every season trying to fact check on every single new drafted players name spelling in English.

      Yeah, it make no sense to have gap year during their time in CPBL on Baseball Reference. Especially there are about 20 or so players that even jump from CPBL to MLB.


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