We’ve heard a lot about N.C. Dinos slugger Eric Thames, who was just crowned the MVP of the Korea Baseball Organization. He continued to rack up awards, but was joined in the trophy room by teammate Eric Hacker, who picked up the KBO’s “Golden Glove” for pitching. As Yonhap’s Jee-Ho Yoo explains, it goes to the best player at each position, unlike the more familiar precious metal-and-leather award utilized in the majors. Hacker, 32, has logged 18 MLB innings but has been a fixture in the Dinos’ rotation for the last three campaigns. He worked to a strong 3.13 EAR with 7.2 K/9 against 1.6 BB/9 over 204 innings — quite an impressive feat in the hitter-friendly KBO.
Here’s more on the international market, including some recent player movement from the U.S. to Asia:
- Righty Jake Brigham is headed to Japan’s Rakuten Golden Eagles, ESPN.com’s Jerry Crasnick reports on Twitter. The 27-year-old cracked the big leagues for the first time last year with the Braves, but was hit hard in a doze appearances. He did, however, put up a solid 3.46 ERA with 6.8 K/9 against 2.1 BB/9 in his 91 Triple-A frames (including 15 starts).
- In addition to adding Brian Bogusevic, the NPB’s Orix Buffaloes have inked deals with Brent Morel and Erik Cordier, NPB Tracker’s Patrick Newman tweets. Morel, a 28-year-old third baseman, has seen action in each of the last six MLB seasons but hasn’t exceeded 35 games played since back in 2011. He slashed .286/.337/.448 over 472 Triple-A plate appearances last year with the Pirates and Athletics organizations. Cordier, a fireballing righty who’ll soon turn 30, has thrown 18 1/3 frames with the Giants and Marlins but has never harnessed his big heater enough to be seen as a consistent MLB pen piece. He was, however, rather dominant last year in the highest level of the minors.
- The Padres have long been said to be among the teams with the strongest interest in Japanese third baseman Nobuhiro Matsuda, and Dennis Lin of the San Diego Union-Tribune tweets that the club could be weighing a multi-year offer. Though Matsuda may be interested in seeing how his market develops, Lin suggests that the Pads might be willing to make a two-year commitment — or, at least, one guaranteed year plus an option.