Former Major Leaguers Michael Bowden and Hector Gomez have signed with teams in the Korea Baseball Organization, according to a report from Yonhap News’ Jee-ho Yoo. Additionally, Naver Sports’ Ji-hyun Kim reports that former Braves right-hander Sugar Ray Marimon has signed with the KT Wiz of the KBO.
Bowden, 29 hasn’t appeared in the Majors since 2013 with the Cubs. He has a lifetime 4.51 ERA in 133 2/3 innings in the Major Leagues but enjoyed a very strong season split between the Triple-A affiliates for the Twins and Orioles, logging a combined 2.63 ERA with 7.2 K/9 against 2.3 BB/9 in 123 innings of work. The Twins had interest in retaining the former Top 100 prospect, tweets 1500 ESPN’s Darren Wolfson, but instead he’ll head to the Doosan Bears for a guaranteed $650K, per an announcement from the Bears. Bowden is a client of Turner Gary Sports.
Gomez, 27, will also receive a one-year, $650K deal to play in the KBO, joining the SK Wyverns, per another team announcement. Gomez picked up 134 plate appearances for the Brewers this season but batted .181/.212/.323 in that time with a homer and 11 doubles. Gomez played second base, third base, shortstop and left field with Milwaukee this season and is a career .298/.341/.512 hitter at the Triple-A level.
The 27-year-old Marimon made his Major League debut with the Braves this season, pitching to a 7.36 ERA in 25 1/3 innings. The Colombian right-hander has experienced far greater success in Triple-A, where he owns a 3.44 ERA with 6.3 K/9 against 2.8 BB/9 in 164 2/3 innings. Per the Naver report above, he’ll receive $600K guaranteed with the Wiz, who were an expansion team in 2015. Marimon is represented by Chris Fanta of Pro Talent Sports Group.
KBO clubs can roster three foreign players, one of whom must be a position player, per league rules. The Wiz were granted four foreign players for the 2015 and 2016 seasons due to their status as an expansion club. Yoo notes that the Wyverns retained American left-hander Chris Seddon ($500K) and right-hander Merrill Kelly ($750K) to round out their international allotment but did not re-sign outfielder Andrew Brown despite a nice first season in 2015. Seddon struggled to a 4.99 ERA in 74 innings with the Wyverns this season but has previously excelled there, logging a 2.98 mark in 187 1/3 innings in 2013. Kelly posted a 4.13 ERA in 181 innings for the Wyverns in 2015 — the first KBO season for the former Rays farmhand. Brown hit .261/.360/.496 with 28 homers in 539 plate appearances with the Wyverns — numbers that are slightly down from his lifetime production at Triple-A.