Increase Foreign Players Limit With Ability to Rotate

Starting 2020 season, the CPBL will increase its existing foreign player limit from three to four. The proposal was initially submitted by the Chinatrust Brothers back in June, and it was approved by all the teams’ representatives during the teams meeting on November 21.

Based on the new CPBL foreign player limit, each team can now register up to four foreign players on its active roster. Although the first-team foreign players limit still remained at three, teams now have the ability to rotate their foreign players between first and farm team.

Once a foreign player has been sent down to the farm team, there will be a 15 days cool-down period before they can be call-up again.

The new rule is much more flexible as teams can now freely call up or send down any foreign players without releasing them. Under the old foreign player policy, should a team wish to call up another foreign player from the farm team, they must release another foreign player from their top team roster.

CPBL Foreign Player Policy: Old vs New
Old Rule New Rule
Organisation Limit No Limit No Limit
Active Roster Limit 3 4
First Team Limit 3 3
On Field Limit 2 2
Cool-down Period 10 Days 15 Days

Further Reading


  1. This is a good move for the CPBL. It will make it easier for teams to try to develop foreign players and give players who are struggling a chance to fix their problems at the minor league level. It could also allow teams to use more foreign position players, because a position player could be used as a fill-in for a short period of time and then returned to the minors when the team needs its third starter.

    • Funny enough this is actually the policy the league used back in 2007-09.

      Yeah, I think overall this is much better, flexible for the team to operate. It is ridiculous they have to release someone in order to call up the backup.

      Hopefully they can start working on raising the foreign player salary. The league could use more higher tier foreign pitchers. I am really a fan of what KBO are doing with their foreign player policy.

      Fingers crossed we can see more foreign hitters next year. But I still think it will be all pitchers.

  2. Orlando Roman is still pitching professionally only days before his 41st birthday. He made his first start of the Puerto Rican Winter League season on November 20th. Unfortunately, he wasn’t particularly effective, allowing three runs, two earned, in two innings pitched.

  3. Another move that may effect the CPBL is the decision by the KBO to increase the number of foreign players per team to five, with both of the additional players playing in the KBO Futures (minor) league. Some of these players will probably be young Latin American players who wash out of the low MLB minors. Almost every NPB team has one or two of these guys playing in their minor league/developmental league, because they can be signed for as little as $35,000 to $50,000 a season to start.

    However, probably at least one of these roster spots per team will go to players of the caliber CPBL teams now sign and will be paid at a range between $120,000 and $200,000 per season, sort of like how Mike Loree and Andy Sisco pitched for the KT Wiz’ Futures League team the year before the Wiz joined KBO’s major league.

    That may create added competition for these (mostly) pitchers, and it’s likely that more pitchers after a strong season in the CPBL will be signed to pitch in the KBO Futures League the next season. This could cut both ways, however, as it may make pitching in the CPBL more desirable, because it will be easier to “move up” to a better opportunity after a good CPBL season. Also, there are more pitchers at the relevant talent level available every off-season than there are CPBL roster spots, so it may not have a significant impact on the talent CPBL teams can sign.

    • This new KBO policy would definitely impact the CPBL. I hope this can be one of the driving force that push the CPBL teams out of the current “$20,000 USD per month” comfort zone and move up in terms of salary.

      One of the reasons why the CPBL teams tend to go with that $20,000 monthly salary is because there are not much competitions out there in that salary bracket. Maybe a selective high tier LMB players?

      Ideally, the CPBL foreign players salary bracket should be somewhere near the MLB minimum salary. No need to directly compete with NPB and KBO but the key is to be at their own bracket maybe around 500k.


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