Jamsil Baseball Stadium (Yonhap)
Starting next year, South Korean baseball clubs will be allowed to reduce player salaries if the season is interrupted by extraordinary events.
The Korea Baseball Organization announced Thursday that, following their board meeting, general managers from its 10 clubs agreed to add the "force majeure" clause into player contracts.
Under that clause, teams will be able to cut wages without liability, if events beyond their control disrupt the season.
Those events include an outbreak of an infectious disease, such as COVID-19, natural disasters, war, court rulings or government directives.
In such cases, the KBO commissioner will reserve the right to shorten the season as necessary, and teams will then be paying their players prorated salaries based on the number of games.
The KBO said the floor will be set at 30 million won ($26,830), which is the league minimum for a full, 144-game season.
If a season is cut short, players' requirements for free agency will be adjusted accordingly.
Players must complete nine full seasons to be eligible for free agency. For hitters, a full season means appearing in at least two-thirds of a 144-game season, or 96 games. For pitchers, it means throwing at least 96 innings, or two-thirds of the 144 innings required for the ERA title. If they don't fulfill the games played or innings pitched requirements, they must have been on their team's active roster for at least 145 non-consecutive days.
But if the season is shortened, the KBO will adjust those free agency eligibility requirements on a proportional basis.
The Korea Professional Baseball Players Association said its members are on the same page with the KBO and that they'd accept prorated wages. (Yonhap)