3 CPBL Players Declared Free Agency

On November 21, the CPBL announced the three players who filed for free agency after the 2023 CPBL season.

  • CTBC Brothers – Cheng Kai-Wen (RHP)
  • Rakuten Monkeys – Chen Chun-Hsiu (1B)
  • Wei Chuan Dragons – Liu Shih-Hao (C)

2023 Free Agency News Tracker

I will try to do my best to keep all the free agency news here. We will only cover the three players who filed for free agency. [Last Updated: January 29, 2024]

  • November 17 – Cheng Kai-Wen filed for free agency.
  • November 20 – Chen Chun-Hsiu filed for free agency.
  • November 21 – Liu Shih-Hao filed for free agency.
  • November 22 – Brothers GM revealed they are not against the idea of signing Liu Shih-Hao, the management will review all possible options to strengthen their team. [ETtoday]
  • November 22 – TSG Hawks GM said they will review this after the expansion draft. [ETtoday]
  • November 23 – Agent of Cheng Kai-Wen and Chen Chun-Hsiu told the media that they will begin talking with other CPBL teams in December. [Liberty Sports]
  • December 1 – An unnamed CPBL team is targeting both free agents, Liu Shih-Hao and Chen Chun-Hsiu. [Liberty Sports]
  • December 2 – Chen Chun-Hsiu has reached a preliminary agreement with an unnamed team that needed a good right-handed hitter at first base. The deal is said to be a multi-year deal. [CPBL columnist Wang Yi-Hsiun]
  • December 3 – CTBC Brothers already met with Chen Chun-Hsiu and almost finalised the contract with him. [Liberty Sports]
  • December 3 – Rakuten Monkeys assistant GM said they offered Chen Chun-Hsiu a 3-year deal that worth over 1 million USD. But have not heard anything back from Chen’s agency. [ETtoday]
  • December 3 – CTBC Brothers’ GM said they only met with Chen Chun-Hsiu’s agent for a chat. [CNA]
  • December 9 – CTBC Brothers have signed Chen Chun-Hsiu to a multi-year deal. A signing press conference will take place on December 11, the team will announce Chen’s salary. [Liberty Sports]
  • December 11 – CTBC Brothers announced they have signed Chen Chun-Hsiu to a 3-year deal worth over 1 million USD with his 2024 annual salary at $300,000. [CTBC Brothers signing press conference]
  • December 11 – CTBC Brothers GM revealed they are likely to re-sign Cheng Kai-Wen. They also have been in touch with Liu Shih-Hao. [Liberty Sports]
  • January 29, 2024 – Wei Chuan Dragons re-signed Liu Shih-Hao to a 2-year deal.

How CPBL Free Agency Works

According to CPBL regulations, players with nine years of service are eligible to file for free agency (eight years if they studied four years in university).

Players are classified into Class A and Class B based on their annual salary, each with a different method of calculating the transfer fee.

  • Class A: Each team’s top 12 players based on their annual salary. The transfer fee (compensation) can either be 125% of the player’s annual salary or 75% of the salary, along with an additional player outside the other team’s protection list.
  • Class B: All the players outside of the top 12. The transfer fee (compensation) is a lot more straightforward. It is just 75% of the player’s salary.

Sounds confusing? Don’t worry. Here are some examples of how Classic A transfer works.

When Team A signs a free agent from Team B, Team A must submit their protection list to Team B. Upon receiving the list, Team B will then decide on the transfer fee/compensation method.

  • Method 1: Team A pays 125% of the player’s annual salary to Team B.
  • Method 2: Team A pays 75% of the player’s salary to Team B as the transfer fee. Additionally, Team B gets to select one extra player outside Team A’s protection list as compensation.

鄭凱文 (Cheng Kai-Wen)

As a 10-season veteran, Cheng Kai-Wen has been a part of the Brothers’ rotation, serving as their 5th starter in the last three years. Despite the occasional nuclear level of blowout games in 2023, he managed to eat plenty of innings, providing stability to the Brothers’ rotation.

Who will sign: Any team seeking a semi-reliable arm that is capable of eating innings and being versatile as both a reliever or 5th starter. However, his age and high transfer fee could be a potential problem.

  • FA Class: Class A
  • 2023 Team: CTBC Brothers
  • 2014-Present (10 seasons)
  • 35-year-old right-hander
  • 2023 salary: $292,000 (USD)
  • Transfer fee method 1: $365,000 (USD)
  • Transfer fee method 2: $219,000 (USD) + 1 Player
  • Current Status: TBA

陳俊秀 (Chen Chun-Hsiu) – SIGNED By Brothers

  • FA Class: Class A
  • 2023 Team: Rakuten Monkeys
  • 2014-Present (10 seasons)
  • 35-year-old first baseman
  • 2023 salary: $292,000 (USD)
  • Transfer fee method 1: $365,000 (USD)
  • Transfer fee method 2: $219,000 (USD) + 1 Player
  • Current Status: Signed a 3-year deal worth over 1 million USD with the CTBC Brothers on December 11. The Rakuten Monkeys picked method 2 of compensation, they will receive $219,000 transfer fee and 24-year-old right-hander Chen Bo-Hao as compensation.

Following his worst CPBL season in 2022, the 10-season veteran first baseman Chen Chun-Hsiu has finally figured out how to hit the de-juiced baseball and rebounded in 2023, showcasing an impressive 150 wRC+ over 268 plate appearances.

Who will sign: Any team in need of an experienced and competent hitter to maintain offensive momentum. His age and slight loss of power could be a concern, but he remains a formidable presence at the plate in high-leverage situations.

劉時豪 (Liu Shih-Hao) – RE-SIGNED by Dragons

  • FA Class: Class B
  • 2023 Team: Wei Chuan Dragons
  • 2014-Present (10 seasons)
  • 32-year-old catcher
  • 2023 salary: $82,000 (USD)
  • Transfer fee: $61,500 (USD)
  • Current Status: Signed a 2-year deal with the Dragons on January 29, 2024.

Best known for his game-calling ability, 32-year-old catcher Liu Shi-Hao serves as a consistent secondary catcher. While his hitting and defensive skills may not be extraordinary, he offers reliability as a backup catcher. In 2023, with a small sample size, he slashed .311/.400/.328 with 111 wRC+ over 72 plate appearances.

Who will sign: Any team looking to reinforce their first-team catcher depth. Despite being very average and not standing out enough to be a primary catcher, Liu Shi-Hao’s low transfer fee and his experience perhaps make me the most desirable free agent this offseason.


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