Hanwha Eagles Sign Andrew Albers

JANUARY 30th: Albers has cleared unconditional release waivers, the Twins announced via press release. The procedural move allows Albers to sign as a free agent with Hanwha. Minnesota now has one empty spot on its 40-man roster.

JANUARY 29th, 8:49am: The Twins will receive roughly $500K in the exchange, a person with direct knowlegde of the situation tells Mike Berardino of the St. Paul Pioneer Press (Twitter link).

7:40am: The Eagles have officially announced the signing of Albers to a one-year, $700K deal in addition to a $100K signing bonus, according to a report from Korean news agency Yonhap (hat tip: MyKBO.net's Dan Kurtz).

As the Yonhap report notes, Albers is the first foreign player to sign in KBO following the league's removal of the $300K salary cap on foreign players earlier this month. KBO also increased its per-team limit on foreign players from two to three. Albers will be joined on the Eagles by former Red Sox supplemental-rounder Caleb Clay and Felix Pie.

JAN. 23: The Twins have agreed to transfer starter Andrew Albers to the Hanwha Eagles of the Korea Baseball Organization (KBO), reports MLBTR's Steve Adams (via Twitter). Albers has agreed to terms with his new club as well, making the deal complete.

MLBTR learned that a deal was in the works two days ago. The 28-year-old Albers, who is represented by Blake Corosky of True Gravity Sports Management, was a great story last year for the Twins. After being dug out of the independent Canadian-American Association after 2010, Albers became Minnesota's minor league pitcher of the year for 2013. He also saw his first big league action, posting a 4.05 ERA in 60 innings. Though he struck out only 3.8 K/9, Albers allowed only 1.1 BB/9 and generated a 43.5% ground-ball rate.

The move across the Pacific represents a nice opportunity for Albers, who faced an uphill battle at a big league rotation spot after the Twins' offseason addition of three free agent starters. With a salary reportedly set to land in the "high six figures," Albers stands to earn significantly more than he would have if he ended up in the minors. He also gets a chance to test the open market next year, as he will become a free agent after his season with Hanwha.

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