The LG Twins of the Korea Baseball Organization are close to signing left-hander Andrew Suarez to a one-year contract, according to Daniel Kim of ESPN and DKTV (Twitter link). It’ll be a $600K pact, Jeeho Yoo of Yonhap News tweets. The deal would have to be tied into a purchase of Suarez’s rights from the Giants, as Suarez is still controlled by the San Francisco club.
Suarez was a second-round pick for the Giants in the 2015 and seemed to be emerging as a rotation candidate during a 2018 rookie season that saw him post a 4.49 ERA, 2.89 K/BB rate, and 7.3 K/9 over 160 1/3 innings. That debut was followed up, however, with only 32 2/3 frames of big league work in 2019 (at a 5.79 ERA), as well as some unimpressive numbers at Triple-A, albeit in the very hitter-friendly Pacific Coast League. This past season, Suarez made several trips back and forth from the Giants’ alternate training site to the active roster, posting a 3.72 ERA over 9 2/3 innings of relief work, but with more walks (six) than strikeouts (five).
Since Suarez is out of minor league options and seemed to becoming an afterthought in San Francisco, it isn’t surprising that he and his representatives explored opportunities elsewhere. Pitching in the KBO League would allow the left-hander to both earn more money than he would have as a pre-arbitration player in the big leagues, and also presumably give him a chance to start games and re-build his value. Suarez only turned 28 last September, so there is plenty of time for a potential future return to North American baseball.