The Hanwha Eagles of the KBO League have signed outfielder Nick Williams (hat tip to Dan Kurtz of MyKBO.net). Williams will receive $250K in guaranteed salary and a $150K signing bonus, plus another $50K is available in incentives.
Williams is no stranger to international baseball, having played with Toros de Tijuana of the Mexican League in each of the last two seasons. His last stint in affiliated ball came in 2021 with Triple-A Charlotte before the White Sox released him. A regular on top-100 prospect lists during his time in the Rangers and Phillies farm systems, Williams was one of six players dealt from Texas to Philadelphia as part of the Cole Hamels trade in July 2015.
All but four of Williams’ 294 career MLB games came in a Phillies uniform, and while his career got off to a quality start (.288/.338/.473 in 343 plate appearances) in 2017, Williams was a little less productive in 2018 and then his numbers badly tailed off in 2019 and he spent much of the season at Triple-A. The Reds claimed Williams off waivers in 2020 but designated him for assignment before the season was over, and Williams then caught on with the White Sox on a minor league deal that offseason.
Still only 29 years old, Williams will look to South Korea as the next stop in his career. He has posted big numbers in the Mexican League, hitting .346/.431/.646 over 583 PA with Tijuana. That could bode well for Williams’ chances in the hitter-friendly KBO League, and another big performance could earn him continued contracts overseas or perhaps another look from a Major League club.