TODAY: Jokisch has re-signed with the Heroes on a one-year, $900K contract (another tip of the hat to MyKBO’s Dan Kurtz).
NOVEMBER 29: The Korea Baseball Organization’s Kiwoom Heroes will not pursue new contracts with infielder Addison Russell or right-hander Jake Brigham, the team announced (h/t to Dan Kurtz of MyKBO). However, the Heroes are planning to try and re-sign southpaw Eric Jokisch, Kurtz relays.
Russell, 27 in January, is the most well-known of the three. A former top prospect and the Cubs’ starting shortstop during their 2016 World Series season, Russell served a 2018 domestic violence suspension after former wife Melisa Reidy detailed serious allegations of abuse. Between the suspension and dwindling on-field productivity, he didn’t find a particularly robust market upon being non-tendered by Chicago last offseason. The Heroes brought Russell aboard in June, but he mustered an underwhelming .254/.317/.336 line with just two home runs across 271 plate appearances.
Brigham only saw brief big league action with the 2015 Braves but had spent the past four seasons with the Heroes. After posting a 2.96 ERA in 2019, the 32-year-old put up a 3.62 mark this past season. Brigham’s strikeout rate improved to a career-best level in 2020, but his walk rate has gotten progressively higher during each KBO season.
Jokisch was far and away the Heroes’ most productive pitcher last season. He led the team with 159.2 innings of 2.14 ERA ball, winning the league’s ERA title. It’s little surprise the Seoul-based club wants to keep him in the fold, but the 31-year-old has also caught the attention of some MLB teams and could consider a return stateside.