Former Major League right-handers Hector Noesi, Esmil Rogers, Zeke Spruill and Robert Coello have signed contracts to play in the Korea Baseball Organization. The Hanwha Eagles have signed Rogers to a one-year, $1.9MM contract, making him the highest-paid foreign player in the league, the club announced (report from Jeeho Yoo of the Yonhap News Agency). Noesi, meanwhile, will become the league’s second-highest-paid international player, landing a $1.7MM guarantee on his one-year deal with the Kia Tigers (Yonhap link). Kia also inked former Diamondbacks righty Zeke Spruill, who will receive a $700K salary. And, right-hander Robert Coello has signed with the Nexen Heroes for $550K on a one-year deal (Yonhap story).
Rogers, 30, was released by the Yankees at the trade deadline this year and latched on to play with the Eagles in KBO. Rogers was outstanding in 10 starts with the Eagles, tossing four complete games (three shutouts) as he worked to a 2.97 ERA with 7.1 K/9 against 2.4 BB/9 in 75 2/3 innings in what is a notoriously hitter-friendly league. His salary is technically $1.7MM, though he also receives a $200K signing bonus, per the above report.
Noesi, 28, will be getting his first taste of Korean ball with this contract. While he struggled to a 6.89 ERA in 33 2/3 innings with the White Sox this past season and eventually yielded his rotation spot to impressive rookie Carlos Rodon, Noesi logged 166 innings of 4.39 ERA ball for the ChiSox a year prior and comes with a strong minor league track record.
The 26-year-old Spruill was long one of the Braves’ most highly ranked farmhands but found himself traded to the D-backs in the original Justin Upton trade. After appearing in the Majors with Arizona in 2013-14, Spruill spent this past season with the Red Sox’ Triple-A affiliate in Pawtucket, where he recorded a 3.94 ERA with 5.3 K/9 and 2.7 BB/9 across 114 1/3 innings. The former second-round pick will also be playing overseas for the first time.
Coello, 31, has appeared in parts of three seasons in the Majors, most recently in 2013 with the Angels. He’s struggled to a 5.90 ERA in an admittedly tiny sample of 29 innings but has a career 3.78 ERA while averaging better than a strikeout per inning in parts of seven Triple-A seasons. He split the past season between the Triple-A clubs of the Rangers and Giants.