For international talent that will already have to make the decision to move to another country and where the potential signing bonus money is smaller, there may be stronger incentives.In 2017, there were over 100 ex-major or minor league players in South Korea and Japan.
Under the hard cap, a new foreign player cannot be signed for more than $1 million or to a multiyear deal.
Foreign players would also only be able to sign a multiyear deal with their current team, but not other teams in the KBO.
Without changes to these rule the KBO would not be able to compete with an NPB team for amateur international talent like Stewart.
It’s too early to know if the Fukuoka Soft Bank Hawks’ decision to sign Stewart to a contract more lucrative than he could have received in the United States will be become more common or if it will prove an anomaly.
That said, no number crunching has been done and it cannot be said definitively that the gains from one reform would necessarily outweigh the costs of another to either the owners or the players.
In some respect, the devil would be in the details.However, it could lead to resistance from one of the other major stakeholders, either the players or the owners.However, in concert, each of these proposed reforms offers something substantial to players or owners so that if all three reforms are jointly pursued, all stakeholders could gain from their joint adoption.But there are clear incentives for both the players and the NPB or the KBO in light of MLB’s current salary structure.The only questions are whether other NPB teams follow the Hawks’ lead and whether the KBO makes the changes it needs to be a player in recruiting international talent.It’s also more than he’s expected to earn had he quickly made the majors after being drafted.The move also likely enhances Stewart’s potential future earnings after his contract ends. MLB is currently a legal cartel which restricts entry, exit and competition.Some areas have too few teams and others have too many.There would also be limits to the number of players they could sign, as NPB teams are limited to four international players and KBO teams three international players on their active rosters.Some younger players could begin in each league’s minor league system, but the limited opportunities on the first level KBO and NPB teams would also naturally limit the number of players who could be in the minor leagues.