The KBO League’s Kia Tigers have signed left-hander Sean Nolin to a one-year contract. As per Jeeho Yoo of Yonhap News, Nolin will earn $600K in guaranteed money ($250K signing bonus, $350K salary) and up to $300K more in incentives.
Nolin had re-signed with the Nationals on a minor league contract back in November, but it appears as though the club released him so Nolin could pursue the opportunity in the Korea Baseball Organization. This isn’t Nolin’s first time playing abroad, as he previously pitched in Japan with the Seibu Lions in 2020, tossing 21 1/3 innings with the NPB club.
The southpaw followed up that brief NPB stint with a return to North American baseball, via a minor league deal with the Nats that eventually led to a big league call-up. With 26 2/3 innings of 4.39 ERA ball with Washington, Nolin banked his first Major League action since way back in 2015, when he pitched for the A’s. Once a notable prospect in the Blue Jays farm system, Nolin pitched 31 1/3 MLB innings from 2013-15 before injuries waylaid his career, including a Tommy John surgery that sidelined him for all of the 2016 and 2017 seasons.
Over 670 1/3 career frames in the minors with six different big league organizations, Nolin has a solid 3.48 ERA and 24.11% strikeout rate. He has worked as both a starter and a reliever, giving the Lions some flexibility in how they might deploy him on their 2022 roster.