Former MLB slugger Darin Ruf has decided to return to the Korea Baseball Organization’s Samsung Lions, per a club announcement. Dan Kurtz of MyKBO.net passed along the news, which arrived via Naver Sports (Korean language link).
Ruf, who’s now 32 years of age, will receive $1.4MM in guaranteed money and can also pick up $300K in potential incentives. Evidently, he was unable to find more appealing opportunities with a MLB outfit. That’s hardly surprising given then tough market facing most lumbering power hitters of Ruf’s ilk.
It’s a nice consolation prize for the five-year MLB veteran, who has thrived in the hitter-friendly KBO since heading there in advance of the 2017 season. Last year, he delivered a healthy .330/.424/.605 slash with 33 long balls. He placed third in the league in OPS, lagging only Park Byung-ho and Kim Jae-hwan. It’s always interesting to peruse the KBO leaderboards to see the eye-popping numbers some familiar names are posting in Korea’s top league.