Right-hander Anthony Swarzak has signed a contract with the Doosan Bears of the Korea Baseball Organization, the Bears announced (Twitter link in Korean). The 29-year-old Swarzak, a client of Jet Sports Management, had been pitching with the Indians. Cleveland announced this afternoon that they have sold his contract to Doosan (Twitter link).
Swarzak will bring to the Bears six years of Major League experience, nearly all of which came with the Twins. A former second-round draft pick, Swarzak spent parts of five seasons in Minnesota, working both out of the rotation and out of the bullpen. Formerly ranked by Baseball America as the No. 100 prospect in all of baseball, Swarzak didn’t establish himself as a starter but was arguably the game’s best long man in 2013 when he worked to a 2.91 ERA and led all Major League relievers with 96 innings pitched.
A down season in 2014 led the Twins to non-tender Swarzak, however, and he latched on with the Indians on a minor league deal. After a strong Spring Training, Swarzak made the Indians’ roster and pitched quite well for them in 13 1/3 innings this year, allowing five earned runs with 13 strikeouts against four walks. Despite that showing, he was designted for assignment and outrighted in May.
All told, Swarzak has a career 4.45 ERA with 5.6 K/9, 2.6 BB/9 and a 41.7 percent ground-ball rate in 453 Major League innings. He’ll now head overseas to Korea, where he’ll replace former big leaguer Yunesky Maya on the team’s roster. The 33-year-old Maya has an 8.17 ERA this season despite having thrown a no-hitter early in the 2015 season (h/t: Sung Min Kim of River Ave. Blues on Twitter). This is the second time in recent months that the Bears have shown an interest in Swarzak, as the team also reportedly made a run at him this offseason prior to his signing with Cleveland.