As MLB fans wait for free agency to pick up stateside, former big leaguers continue to hammer out deals with teams in Japan’s Nippon Professional Baseball and the Korea Baseball Organization. We’ll track the latest KBO and NPB re-signings here:
- The Kia Tigers have re-signed outfielder Preston Tucker to a one-year deal worth $1.05MM guaranteed, tweets Jee-ho Yoo of South Korea’s Yonhap News Agency. It’s a $200K raise for Tucker, who has appeared in parts of three MLB seasons, after he gave the Tigers an outstanding .306/.398/.557 slash and 32 home runs in his second season there in 2020. Yoo adds that Tucker has been getting some offseason work in at first base, which could allow the Tigers to use him at multiple positions next year. Tucker is still just 30 years old, so if he continues to mash in the KBO, a return bid to the Majors remains possible. For now, he’ll receive the first seven-figure salary of his career.
- Yoo also tweets that righty David Buchanan has re-upped with the Samsung Lions for a $1MM guarantee and up to $500K worth of performance incentives. Buchanan, 31, had a solid three-year run in Japan before moving to the KBO for the first time in 2020. The former Phillies right-hander gave the Lions 27 starts and 174 2/3 innings of 3.45 ERA ball with averages of 6.2 strikeouts, 2.6 walks and 0.8 home runs allowed per nine innings pitched. Buchanan never found his footing in the big leagues, but with this latest contract he’ll have topped $5MM in earnings between NPB and the KBO. And as we’ve seen numerous times in recent offseasons, consistent success in Japan and/or South Korea can always serve as a gateway back to the Majors.