What Do KBO Baseball Players Make?

You can read my 2017 update on this post here.

mykbo.net has fine piece today listing the top paid South Korean players in the KBO in 2014.  Only one player (11 year KBO veteran and former NPB player Tae-kyun Kim) is making more than $1 million at current exchange rates in 2014.  Kim is making $1.41 million.  Sixteen other South Korean players are making between $940,000 and $470,000 (one billion to 500 million won) in 2014.

mykbo.net does not provide salaries for foreign players playing the KBO.  What they make is something of a mystery, because until this off-season there was a $300,000 cap on foreign player salaries that none of the KBO teams actually followed.

However, my educated guess is that all 28 foreign players playing in the KBO at the start of the 2014 season will be making somewhere between $300,000 and $1 million, with the specific number based on each player’s past KBO experience, past MLB success and past KBO success.  My guess is that three-year KBO veteran Dustin Nippert and long-time MLB veteran Luke Scott will be the highest paid foreign players in 2014.

P.S. The amounts paid to top KBO players should continue to rise over the next few seasons, as the free agent deals signed this off-season appear to be heavily back-loaded.

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2 Comments on “What Do KBO Baseball Players Make?”

  1. Burly Says:

    Today, KBO voted to raise minimum salaries from 24 million won to 27 million won, or from roughly $22,400 to $25,200. I don’t know if many Championship League (major) players make this little or if its mostly players in the Futures League (minor) who get paid the minimum.

  2. Burly Says:

    This past off-season, Hyung-woo Choi signed the KBO’s first 10 billion won contract ($8.8M at current exchange rates) for four years of service. Then, later in the off-season, former NPBer and MLBer Dae-ho Lee signed a 15 billion won deal ($13.2) for four years (four years is the most KBO free agents get).

    Choi and Lee are the best KBO hitters still in Korea, but these signings and the rise in foreign player salaries suggests it’s time for an update of this post.


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