CPBL Foreign Players Updates Volume #119

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Rakuten Monkeys News: Radhames Liz

With the 2020 CPBL Opening Day roughly one month away, the Rakuten Monkeys had suffered a massive blow. On February 9, the Monkeys’ general manager told the media that Radhames Liz is unlikely to return to Taiwan for the time being.

According to ETtoday, Radhames Liz told the Monkeys that his physical and mental conditions are not ready; he might not be able to cope with the 2020 CPBL season.

“We are going to exclude Radhames Liz from our opening day roster,” said the Monkeys’ general manager. “We will continue to look for other suitable foreign players to fill the gap.”

The Monkeys previously announced the re-signing of Radhames Liz on January 5. Ideally, Liz was highly likely to be the Monkeys’ ace for the 2020 season. But with this latest development, the team are going back to the drawing board.

Radhames Liz Scared of Wuhan Coronavirus?

At this stage, it is still unclear the real reason behind Radhames Liz opting out of his contract with the Rakuten Monkeys. But many speculate it could be related to the Wuhan Coronavirus outbreak in Asia.

As of today, there have been 17 confirmed cases with no death so far in Taiwan. Although it is not that many compared with other countries within the region, but with Taiwan geographically so close to China, it is not unreasonable to feel uneasy about this Wuhan Coronavirus situation.

Across the strait, in China, the Wuhan Coronavirus has now killed more than 800 along with over 37,000 confirmed cases. Given China’s past behaviour, they tend to underreport their data. Therefore, the actual numbers should be way higher. There is a saying people should always add a few zeroes at the end of any numbers coming out of China.

Further Readings

Foreign players come and goes, therefore we compiled a foreign players tracker to keep track of all the foreign players signing for the 2020 CPBL season.


  1. Radhames Liz didn’t pitch in the winter leagues this off-season, so he should be ready to go. However, he’s also 36 years old, so his body may be hurting him.

    Pitchers from my earlier lists who are still unsigned include Christian Friedrich, Joe Wieland, Deck McGuire, Tyler Alexander, Eric Stout, Justin Nicolino, David Kubiak and Daniel Corcino. In other words, there are still many pitchers who might have CPBL stuff for the Monkeys to approach.

    • And also the excuse Radhames Liz told the Monkeys for not reporting to the team, I think he wants avoid the coronavirus outbreak in Asia.

      Maybe it is worth for the Monkeys to ask their parent company in Japan for some other valid options. Surely the Rakuten Eagles in the NPB have some foreign players on their radar. Also, perhaps it is now the time to re-sign Michael Nix if they want to play it safe.

      And I wonder if Rakuten Monkeys knew a few weeks earlier that Liz might not come back, that’s why they struck a deal with the Chinatrust Brothers for Elih Villanueva.

      • Maybe at this point in his career, Liz didn’t feel a $200,000 or $250,000 CPBL salary isn’t worth a risk of Wuhan coronavirus, even though its seems like the risk in Taiwan is low, with only 18 reported cases to date. In fact, given all the current unknowns about the virus, it’s possible that Taiwan would be a safer place to be than the Dominican Republic, because Taiwan has a better health care system.

        Still, the virus is scary, and no one can trust the Communist mainland government to be completely candid about exactly what is going on there now. Obviously, however, the virus is readily transmissible between humans, and we still don’t have a clear idea what the actual survival rate is, since only about 3,300 out of more than 40,000 confirmed cases so far have fully recovered from the illness, aside from the 910 deaths. In theory, that could mean Wuhan virus is nearly as deadly as SARS, although fatality rates and transmissibility among humans are usually inversely proportional, with some notable exceptions like the 1918-1919 H1N1 Influenza.

        I’d guess the Monkeys had Villanueva in mind to be their third foreign starter, even before they got the word on Liz. Now, they have to lay out a little more money to find Liz’s replacement.

        • Yeah, times like this, can’t blame them for not wanting to go overseas. Hopefully we can see Liz as one of the mid-season signing.

          I think so, this incident with Liz will probably cost the Monkeys. Like you said, they now have to pay more to find a suitable replacement.

    • You were right about his health, Liz confirmed with the DR media the reason he backed out of his contract is due to herniated disc. Right now he is considering whether to have surgery or not.


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