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.
So the great name of Sugar Ray Marimon leaves us. Good travels Sugar Ray
Too bad the arm doesn’t match the name. His stuff was more like a John Smith. And opposing teams made him look like Ronda Rousey.
How many people would be up in arms if MLB instituted a “3 foreigners” rule? Why doesn’t anyone complain about the KBO doing it?
Ahh the double standard. They heavily tax foreign car imports, we dont.
Means more talent in the independent leagues let them block talent from their leagues it only hurts themselves. if they removed the rule the majority would be foreign born that is obviously not the case with MLB. Would you feel the same about the Rockies if they were 80 percent Korean?
My opinion on that subject has nothing to do with my favorite team. I don’t care what race they are because I only see purple when they are on the field.
That is nice for you how ever don’t tell others what they should like and shouldn’t like, Asian culture is not the same as liberal America, I know how unfair! The KBO does not want to be a minor league system for Americans so don’t tell them they should be. They do not feel the same as you do about the Rockies.
If the KBO doesn’t want to be a minor league system for MLB, then why do they sell their best players to MLB? And why do they only take the players that MLB no longer wants? They are a minor league, whether they like it or not. I know…how unfair!
You don’t seem to understand what a minor league is. They are not in the business of developing players born in America, selling its players has nothing to do with being a minor league its called making money.
They sell their best players to the MLB because it’s a gigantic monetary windfall for them. The average KBO player salary in 2014 was just shy of $100,000, and only one player made over $1,000,000. The $12.85mil that Park is going to bring back to the Nexen Heroes is financially HUGE for them.
Who’s to say nobody complains? The fact that it’s specifically a rule makes me think that teams would exceed 3 foreign players if they could.
That said, the presumed attitude behind that rule of wanting to keep the KBO mostly Korean is hardly an usual one in east-Asian culture.
Well of course they would, it would only take one team doing it to force everyone else to do the same to stay competitive. If the Majority of teams wanted more than 3 foreign born players it would be bargained for. The Rockies fan looks down on the KBO but that is not how Koreans view the KBO, the KBO is MLB to Koreans. Kind of Ironic from a Rockies fan who have not fielded a MLB quality team in quite some time.
Yeah the rockies fan doesnt like it when other people question his opinion. I’ve seen it on other threads. Gets angry and does his best attempt to mock you. Just like the childish “how unfair” jab
Michael Bowden > David Buchanan
Given how well Zach Stewart and Eric Thames did with the NC Dinos this year (near the top of the KBO for pitching and offense, respectively), Korea could be the new place to revitalize a baseball career
It should be interesting to see if either of them make it back to the States this winter. Am I right that all the KBO teams have until about the end of this month to figure out who’s taking their international spots?
I really hope Andrew Brown comes back to MLB