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International Free Agency -- Asia (Professional)

Definition

Players that accrue nine years of service time in Japan's Nippon Professional Baseball or the Korea Baseball Organization are considered free agents. Such players are eligible to pursue opportunities in any league, including Major League Baseball, without being subjected to the Korean or Japanese posting systems.

Clubs are able to offer any dollar amount they wish to such players, as they are not subject to international amateur free agency spending restrictions.

Example

The Yankees signed Japanese outfielder Hideki Matsui to a three-year, $21 million contract in December 2002, without having to go through the posting process. Before becoming a free agent, Matsui had played in Japan with the Yomiuri Giants from 1993-2002.