CPBL Foreign Players Updates Volume #113

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Chinatrust Brothers News: Esmil Rogers

With the 2020 CPBL Opening Day just two months away, teams are starting to fill their foreign player spots in preparation for the new season.

On January 9, the Chinatrust Brothers announced the signing of Esmil Rogers. According to ETtoday, Esmil Rogers’ annual salary is around $400,000 USD. The Brothers declined to comment on Rogers’ salary but told the media it is above the standard level.

Esmil Rogers, the 34-year-old right-hander had seven seasons of MLB experience. From 2009 to 2015, he posted a combined record of 5.59 ERA and 1.57 WHIP across 454 innings for multiple MLB organisations.

After leaving the MLB system, Esmil Rogers went on to play in the KBO from 2015 to 2016 with the Hanwha Eagles. In 2018, the Nexen Heroes signed Rogers and brought him back to Korea for his second tour of the KBO.

Unfortunately, two months into the 2018 season, Rogers broke his right fingers when he took a comebacker off his pitching hand. The season-ending injury led to his release by the Heroes. Across three KBO seasons, he posted a combined record 3.58 ERA, 1.23 WHIP over 196.1 innings. [stats via MyKBO]

In 2019, Esmil Rogers spent the summer pitching in Mexico and winter in the Dominican Republic. Prior to his signing with the Chinatrust Brothers, he posted a solid 2.34 ERA and 1.02 WHIP over 50 innings in the Dominican Winter League.

As per the Chinatrust Brothers’ press release, all the foreign players will report to the team in February and begin spring training.

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. $400K is a lot for a pitcher, who because of his age, was unlikely to get an offer better than MLB minor league contract or Mexican League contract at $10,000 a month. Still, he’s a good sign for a CPBL team, so long as the team is not locked in for more than three months. Maybe he got a guarantee of $125,000 for three months?

    Meanwhile, Brooks Raley just signed a minor league deal with the Cincinnati Reds, so no chance he’ll join CPBL at start of 2020 season. But Christian Friedrich is still available. If CPBL teams have decided they will spend a little more than past off-seasons, there could definitely be a match with Friedrich.

    There’s still one more KBO slot that could go to a foreign pitcher, with Samsung I think. The Lions could either sign a second pitcher or re-sign Darin Ruf and open 2020 with two foreign position players on the major league roster.

    • Yep, you nailed it. That’s exactly my take on this as well.

      The key point here is maybe it is not a full year guarantee contract. It is likely to be a $40,000 USD per months for 3 months or half season guarantee. $400K salary is likely to be potential earnings if he stays for full season.

      I really hope they can implement a new policy to make all foreign players salary transparent.

      I think we might see Friedrich going to the Uni-Lions.

  2. I wonder if the bigger salaries you are reporting has something to do with the new roster rules for foreign players. Maybe the wealthier CPBL teams are willing to take greater risks if they know they can send a foreign pitcher down to the minors for 4 or 5 starts to see if he can work out his problems and call up another foreigner without having to release the first one.

    Free agents have been doing better than expected in MLB this off-season, and NPB teams have also been showing a willingness to spend more money. Mexican League salaries are also up in the last two seasons after the league signed a new TV and/or advertising deal. Maybe CPBL teams are just responding to market pressures that require somewhat higher salary offers to foreign players.

    • I think it partly got something to do with the type of foreign players the teams here like to sign can no longer dominate the CPBL hitters anymore. It is time to bump up the quality of they want to win games.

      Another point is the league’s overall public image is getting better, teams actually want to invest more money (corporate advertising in a way) into the team. It is a sign of the league as a whole is starting move forward from its dark past.

      There’s also the case of Henry Sosa from last year. The benefits were right in front of the other teams. The Guardians demonstrated that it is worth spending that much on higher tier foreign players.

      I think what we will see in the next few years is teams will have different levels of foreign players on the team. It will no longer be everyone is on the typical $20K USD monthly bracket.

      Maybe as the following:

      1 at 50-60K USD monthly salary.
      1 at 30-40K USD monthly salary.
      2 at 20K USD monthly salary.

      Teams starting to realised that by spending a little more than before, the benefits will outweigh the extra cost.

      At the end of the day, running a CPBL team is pocket change for them.

      Let’s use Fubon Financial as an example, based on today’s news, they made $1.95 billion USD profit after tax in 2019. And this is just 1 of the subsidiaries of the entire Fubon Group. Spending 400-600K on 4 foreign players is nothing to them. Can you imagine if they decide to allocate another 0.1 to 0.5% to their baseball team?

  3. I notice that based on the numbers, Jose De Paula will probably start the 2020 in CPBL’s minor league. That’s something new, in that De Paula looks very much like the typical kind of pitcher CPBL teams sign to start the season in the CPBL major league. The Brothers are obviously committed to have the best possible foreign pitching in 2020, after a season in which their foreign pitchers floundered.


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