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CPBL holds players draft amid uncertainty over Macoto club sale

CPBL holds players draft amid uncertainty over Macoto club sale

The CPBL, Taiwan's pro baseball league, held its annual draft yesterday, with six ballclubs selecting a total of 43 prospective players from amateur ranks and college teams.
The top draft pick and the second overall pick are two quality young players - Lin Yi-chuan, chosen by the Sinon Bulls, and Chan Chi-yao, who was taken by the Macoto Cobras, respectively.
After the Sinon and Macoto ballclubs, the draft order, which consists of ten total rounds of selection, was the Chinatrust Whales, Brother Elephants, La New Bears, and Uni-President Lions - in other words, the reverse order of the teams' standings at the end of last season.
Lin, aged 22, and Chan, aged 24, werehighly rated by the scouts, with their outstanding playing records in the junior baseball and college circuits. Both have also played as part of the Taiwan national team at major tournaments.
Both Lin and Chan are left-hitting positional players with good speed and quick bats, and therefore will likely make an immediate impact on their teams' roster in the upcoming season.
Lin's most often plays third base, and is known as a power player - he garnered a .436 average with 7 doubles, 6 homers, 26 RBIs in 94 at-bats during the 2007 national amateur spring season.
Pleased with his No. 1 pick, Sinon Bulls skipper Hu Chang-hao gave Lin a ringing endorsement. "Lin is a great addition to our team. We expect him to become the second 'Chang Tai-shan' (Sinon's current all-star third baseman and former home run king)."
However, the jubilant mood at the amateur draft yesterday was overshadowed by the uncertainty over the proposed sale of Macoto Cobras franchise to a new buyer - DMedia Co. (a Taipei-based company specializing in manufacturing GPS navigators and PDA electronics).
The CPBL's top board members - consisting of the league commissioner and club owners - are now assessing the financial background and other details of DMedia's proposal to purchase the Macoto Cobras franchise.
The Cobras ballclub is up for sale, as current franchise owner Macoto Bank wanted to exit the baseball scene after the bank was taken over by Shin Kong Financial Holdings Co. in a prominent NT$20 billion merger at the end of 2005.
Baseball analysts yesterday indicated that negotiations between the league and DMedia appeared to have hit a snag, with some questions still needing clarification regarding the financing and ownership structure of the potential new buyer.
With a new-found interest in the sports business, DMedia purchased basketball team ETTV Antelopes this year, and had renaming it "DMedia Numen," which is now competing in the Taiwan's semi-professional Super Basketball League.
As for the CPBL, time is running short for the league to make a decision over whether to approve or reject the purchase offer by DMedia, as Taiwan baseball teams start spring training in January and player contracts must also be renewed next month.
Any prolonged negotiations or delays may raise public doubts over the DMedia deal. If the sale does not go through and no new buyers come forward, then the Macoto Cobras ballclub will fold, as it lacks funds to operate during the 2008 season.


Updated : 2021-05-18 16:13 GMT+08:00