Right-hander Yefry Ramirez has signed with the Hanwha Eagles of the Korea Baseball Organization, per a team announcement from the Eagles (hat tip: Dan Kurtz of MyKBO.net, on Twitter). He’ll earn a total of $600K for the remainder of the season, Kurtz adds. Jee-ho Yoo of the Yonhap News Agency tweets that Ramirez will replace former big league lefty Ryan Carpenter, who was released by the Eagles this week.
Ramirez, 28, has appeared in parts of three big league seasons, most recently with the Dodgers in 2021. He opened the 2022 campaign with the Dodgers’ Triple-A affiliate and pitched to a 3.76 ERA in 40 2/3 frames with their top affiliate in Oklahoma City. Ramirez appeared in a game as recently as three days ago, suggesting the Dodgers and Eagles either came to terms on a buyout of his minor league contract or that Ramirez had an opt-out or foreign play clause written into his contract.
In 91 2/3 big league innings, Ramirez has a 6.19 ERA with a 21.7% strikeout rate and 12.6% walk rate. He’s been better in Triple-A, where he holds a 4.36 ERA through 288 2/3 frames to go along with a 24.1% strikeout rate and 9.8% walk rate. Ramirez will hope to follow the path of many players before him who’ve carved out strong numbers overseas and eventually cashed in on a Major League return. At the very least, that $600K salary is healthier than what he’d have earned in Triple-A for the remainder of the season (even with an eventual call to the Majors). He’ll also set himself up for the chance to re-sign for another six- or even low seven-figure deal with the Eagles, should he enjoy a solid half-season audition.
As for the 31-year-old Carpenter, he appeared in 15 games for the 2018-19 Tigers and struggled heavily in the Majors before signing on with the Rakuten Monkeys of Taiwan’s Chinese Professional Baseball League for the 2020 season. He threw well enough in Taiwan — 4.00 ERA in 157 1/3 innings — to draw interest from the KBO’s Eagles the following offseason. Since signing with the Hanwha club prior to the 2021 campaign, Carpenter has turned in a solid 3.83 ERA in 188 frames with better than a strikeout per inning. However, Yoo writes that Carpenter sustained an elbow injury after just his third start of the 2022 season and, upon being activated last week, exited his first game back with recurring discomfort in that left elbow.