NOVEMBER 25: Sampson has formally been granted his release to pursue the KBO opportunity, the Rangers announced. Texas’ 40-man roster now sits at 39 players.
NOVEMBER 20: The Lotte Giants of the Korea Baseball Organization are set to sign Rangers right-hander Adrian Sampson, Naver Sports reports (hat tip to Levi Weaver of The Athletic). The deal comes with a $500K salary and a $339,700 signing bonus, per Dan Kurtz of MyKBO.net.
The 28-year-old Sampson has been a member of multiple MLB organizations since the Pirates used a fifth-round pick on him in 2012. He went to the Mariners in a 2015 trade for left-hander J.A. Happ, though the M’s cut ties with Sampson after 2016, leading the Rangers to claim him off waivers.
Sampson, then recovering from elbow surgery, didn’t pitch in the majors in his first year with the Rangers. However, the majority of his innings have come at the MLB level since then. While Sampson amassed all 125 1/3 innings of his 2019 frames as part of Texas’ staff, he could only muster a 5.89 ERA/5.69 FIP despite playable strikeout and walk rates of 7.25 and 2.59 per nine. Sampson has enjoyed more success preventing runs in Triple-A ball, where he owns a 4.11 ERA with 6.5 K/9 against 1.8 BB/9 over 398 2/3 innings.