Tue, Feb 16, 2016 - Page 5 News List

FEATURE: CPBL starts the year on a high

SYSTEM TEST:Lin Chih-sheng and Cheng Ta-hung last month became the first two players in the league’s history to transfer to another team via the free-agent system

By Jason Pan  /  Staff reporter

Chen decided to stay true to the Monkeys and agreed to a one-year extension of his contract. He said this would be his last season, as he plans to retire at the end.

Things did not turn out so well for 20-year veteran Chang. The Uni-President Lions elected not to renew his contract, citing age (39) and a need to give younger players a chance on the starting lineup. The Lions did offer him a coaching job, but Chang turned it down.

Determined to continue playing, Chang signed a contract with Japan’s Tokushima Indigo Socks, one of the four clubs in the Shikoku Island League, an independent circuit seen equivalent to AAA level, second to Japan’s Nippon Professional Baseball.

Pundits said the free-agent system worked well and bodes well for the healthy development of professional baseball in the nation, giving leading players a chance to test their market value, without being sold or discarded by owners who used to see players as property who had to remain at one club their whole careers.

The transfers have also helped boost the salaries of players who are consistent and perform well, as shown by 2015 RBI king Lin Yi-chuan’s experience.

The EDA Rhinos recently signed him to a one-year contract with a monthly salary of NT$650,000, NT$100,000 more per month than he earned last season.

The Uni-President Lions signed veteran right-handed pitcher Pan Wei-lun (潘威倫) to a two-year contract at NT$500,000 per month, up by NT$50,000 per month from last season’s earnings.

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