The Korea Baseball Organization’s Samsung Lions appear to have a deal with outfielder Mac Williamson. Sung Min Kim of Fangraphs tweeted the news that a signing was imminent, with Alex Pavlovic of NBC Sports Bay Area tweeting that Williamson is heading out for his new gig today.
Williamson gets the call to head to the hitter-friendly KBO after failing to take advantage of his latest MLB opportunities and finally losing his 40-man roster status. After a brief stint with the Mariners, who claimed him from the Giants, Williamson cleared waivers and took up residence at Triple-A. For all his struggles in the majors, the 29-year-old Williamson is a .265/.343/.487 hitter in over a thousand Triple-A plate appearances.
It’s fun to foresee the bat-flipping highlights that are soon to come from the Samsung lineup, which already features former big league slugger Darin Ruf. Whether or not Williamson can carve out a similar path to earnings and notoriety remains to be seen, but he’ll have a good example to follow in Ruf, who is now in his third season as a Lions star.
As Kim notes, it’s quite rare for KBO clubs to carry two foreign-born position players. They typically use at least one of their slots on hard-to-find arms. In this case, Kim says, former MLB righty Justin Haley will be cut loose after struggling. The Lions still employ hurler Deck McGuire along with Ruf.