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Roster rules revealed for 18/19 season
New rules prioritise local players and Asian growth
07/31/2018 11:15 PM ET

The 2018/2019 Australian Baseball League season will see revamped roster rules - including the scrapping of import caps - as Baseball Australia continues its strategic international expansion.

Following consultation with all eight ABL teams, BA has adopted a capped points system based on players' prior experience rather than a hard cap on the number of imports for the upcoming season.

A $100,000 salary cap for each team has been introduced, along with the ability for each team to sign up to two marquee players who are exempt from both points and salary limitations.

Baseball Australia Chief Operating Officer Ben Foster said the rules would prioritise the development of Australian players and continue the league's growth into Asia while increasing the quality of the ABL.

"The new rules and adoption of a points system is in line with Baseball Australia's broader strategy," he said.

"We are not hiding from the fact our focus is Australian talent first and then growing the ABL into Asia."

Foster said the salary cap and rules would ensure the competitive balance of the league.

Over the league's eight-year history the number of imports each team could sign has varied.

"What we've found with import limits is there is no right or wrong answer," Foster said.

"What we do know is the quality of those players and where they're from has a direct relationship to our strategic plan and commercial outcomes."

Each team will have 150 points to use across the 10-week regular season with unused points from each round rolling over.

Imports will accumulate positive points while Australian or native players, for the two expansions teams, will attract negative points.

Each team can also sign a maximum of two marquee players who do not count towards their points total.

Current MLB, CPBL, NPB or KBO players - or those with at least five years' service or an All-Star Game appearance in those four leagues - will be classified as marquee players.

Teams will be able to replace each marquee player once in a season.

The original marquee player will not be able to return after being replaced.

Teams have until 4pm today to present a qualifying offer to players they had under contract in 2017/2018.

Players who have not received an offer or declined one can enter talks with other teams.

Baseball Australia will release further rules and regulations for the 2018/2019 season in coming weeks following the next meeting with team owners.

This story was not subject to the approval of the Australian Baseball League or its clubs.