The KT Wiz of the Korea Baseball Organization announced that they have re-signed outfielder Anthony Alford and left-hander Wes Benjamin (hat tip to Dan Kurtz of MyKBO.net.) Alford will make $1.1MM while Benjamin will make $1.3MM.
Alford, 28, was a highly-touted prospect in the Blue Jays’ system given his five-tool potential but he struggled against major league pitching. He got 240 plate appearances with the Jays and Pirates spread across six seasons from 2017 to 2022, striking out in 37.9% of them and producing a tepid overall batting line of .209/.275/.368.
He signed with the Wiz in May of 2022 and flourished, getting into 80 games and hitting .286/.362/.509. He hit 14 home runs and stole five bases in that brief audition, showing enough potential for the club to effectively double his salary as he was paid $577K for 2022.
Benjamin, 29, also joined the Wiz in May, signing for $331K for what remained of the season at that time. He then made 17 starts for the Wiz the rest of the way with a 2.70 ERA over 96 2/3 innings. As a reward for that solid showing, the club has retained him with a big raise for 2023.
Both players are fairly young and could garner interest from MLB clubs down the road if they continue posting solid results in 2023. But for now, they will be looking to help their club in Korea for the next season while pocketing some decent earnings.