Oakland A news: Korea’s KBO and Japan’s NPB are landing spots for suspended players


Happy Thursday Athletics Nation!

There’s no Major League Baseball in sight anytime soon, and daily lockout negotiations have evaporated following this week’s deadline drama. As the smoke clears from the cancellation of opening day and the ambiguity rises from the fact that it could be anywhere from a month to a year before we see the green and gold back on the field, we need to move on and pay attention to the others Errata around the baseball world.

An interesting aspect to keep in mind is the ability of players to play in leagues not affiliated with MLB. This concept largely grew out of an Instagram post by Bryce Harper This monday.

As detailed in Kyle Glaser’s Baseball America, Korea or Japan could be an attractive place for some players to spend time while enduring the lockout. Players’ contracts have full permission to play for other leagues if there is a work stoppage such as a lockout, and the MLBPA has said they will be happy to do so defend any dispute that may arise from players doing so.

While Bryce’s post may have been tongue-in-cheek, other players have taken it as a legitimate path. The article mentions the 2021 A pitcher BurchSmithsince the helper signed with the Seibu Lions in Japan this January.

The leagues in Asia have often been an option for major fringe leagues looking to prove themselves for MLB opportunities, and this year they offer an extra layer of security for some players who would normally be fighting for a 40-man roster spot at this time of year. If the lockout ends soon, those players in Nippon Professional Baseball or the Korean KBO League would still have the option to sign a new contract with an MLB team like any other free agent.

Squad spots for foreign players are quite limited in both leagues. So don’t expect to tune into a Nippon Ham Fighters game and suddenly see an outfield of Harper, Trout and Betts. But as an option to stay in shape and get a few shots, a voyage across the Pacific might be the way to go for a select number of players.

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