Fretting over irregular contacts with overseas players, MLB has ordered its teams to suspend working agreements with NPB clubs, multiple sources from both leagues with knowledge of the matter said Tuesday.

The order has also forced MLB clubs to sever ties with pro teams from Mexico, Taiwan and South Korea. For NPB, such agreements have been a huge help to its teams for decades, allowing players and coaches to learn from MLB teams and gain experience they couldn't get in Japan.

"Going forward, entering into new working agreements or complying with any active working agreements ... constitutes a violation of MLB rules and policies and may subject clubs to discipline. As such, any active working agreement should be promptly dissolved," the March 4 memo seen by Kyodo News said.