All 10 KBO clubs stay under salary cap in 1st year of implementation

SEOUL, All 10 clubs in the top South Korean baseball league stayed under the salary cap imposed for the first time in 2023, data showed Wednesday.

The Korea Baseball Organization (KBO) had set a salary cap for the 2023-2025 period at 11,426,380,000 won (US$8.79 million). It was 120 percent of the average of the combined annual salaries for the 40 highest-paid players on each club for the 2021 and 2022 seasons, excluding rookies and foreign players. The league implemented the cap for the first time to ensure a level playing field.

According to the figures released Wednesday, the Doosan Bears had the largest payroll at nearly 11.2 billion won, followed by the SSG Landers at a little over 10.8 billion won. The Korean Series champions LG Twins ranked third at a shade under 10.8 billion won.

In this file photo from Nov. 13, 2023, LG Twins players and coaches celebrate winning the Korean Series at Jamsil Baseball Stadium in Seoul, following their 6-2 win over the KT Wiz in Game 6.

The Kiwoom Heroes were dead last in spending with 6.4 billion won. They also finished last in the standings with a record of 58-83-3 (wins-losses-ties).

The first-time violator of the payroll must pay 50 percent of the amount by which its payroll exceeded the cap. A repeat offender will be fined the same amount of money that exceeds the cap and that team will fall nine slots in the first round of the following year's rookie draft.

For the third offense and beyond, teams must pay 150 percent of the amount that went over the cap and drop nine spots in the next year's draft.

Most of the clubs who wanted the salary cap in the first place are now believed to be pushing for an increase in the cap.

Per sources, seven out of 10 clubs are in favor of raising the cap, while two teams are against it and one team remains undecided.

Emerging from some pandemic-interrupted seasons, the KBO posted its third-largest attendance figure ever with 8.1 million fans. Most teams have more money to spend now than in the years past, but are being held back by their cap.

The salary cap discussion is expected to dominate the first board of directors meeting of 2024 in January, involving club CEOs.

Source: Yonhap News Agency

Recent Posts