Here are some of the latest comings and goings on the international market:
- There are a few recent moves to cover on the KBO side as well. Southpaw Hyeon-jong Yang will return to Korea’s Kia Tigers, Yonhap News reports (h/t Dan Kurtz of MyKBO.net, via Twitter). The 28-year-old has been on the MLB radar for some time, and had been expected to gauge interest as a free agent this winter. Evidently, there wasn’t enough of an opportunity in North American ball for him to forego a chance at what’s reported to be the biggest single-season contract ever awarded in the KBO: 2.25 billion won, or about $1.89MM. Yang carries a 3.02 ERA with 7.2 K/9 and 3.7 BB/9 over 373 innings in the past two seasons in the hitter-friendly KBO.
- Also, SK Wyverns recently announced the signings of infielder Danny Worth (for $700K) and lefty Scott Diamond ($600K). Both have seen action in multiple MLB campaigns. Most recently, Worth briefly cracked the Astros’ major-league roster. Though he struggled there, he did slash an excellent .330/.431/.525 in his 368 Triple-A plate appearances in 2016. And Diamond, once a rotation piece for the Twins, made one major-league appearance last year with the Blue Jays, but spent most of the year working to a 4.50 ERA (with 5.4 K/9 and 1.7 BB/9) over 166 innings at Triple-A.
- The Yakult Swallows have added righty David Buchanan on a one-year deal worth about $750K, per a team announcement (via Kyodo News). Buchanan, 27, had been cut loose by the Phillies after spending all of 2016 at Triple-A, working to a 3.98 ERA over 167 1/3 innings. He had some success in a twenty-start rookie year at the major-league level back in 2014, but struggled there in 2015 and wasn’t able to return last year. “He can keep his pitches low with a high strike rate, and has strong fighting spirit. We wanted that kind of a pitcher,” said Yakult international director Masayuki Okumura.
- Also heading to Japan after a recent stint with the Phillies is fellow righty Phil Klein, who the club recently released to pursue an opportunity in the NPB. He’s heading to the Yokohama BayStars, the team announced (Japanese-language link), for a deal that’s said to promise him around 150MM yen (~$1.27MM) along with an incentives package. Though Klein hasn’t succeeded in his looks at the majors, he obviously drew real interest from Asia with his intriguing numbers in the upper minors — including a 2.14 ERA with 9.8 K/9 and 2.9 BB/9 over 160 Triple-A frames.
- The BayStars will not retain free agents Guillermo Moscoso and Zach Petrick, the team also noted. Moscoso, a former big leaguer, had spent three years with the organization. The 27-year-old Petrick, a former Cardinals farmhand, struggled to a 5.51 ERA in his only campaign in Japan.
- Continuing their international spree, the Padres have agreed to a $400K bonus with Cuban lefty Ramon Ernesto Perez Favier, according to a report from Francys Romero of OnCuba.com (Twitter link), which Dennis Lin of the San Diego Union-Tribune confirms (also via Twitter). There isn’t much public information on the 17-year-old, though you can check out his stuff on this YouTube video that reputedly features him. Lin provides a few tidbits on Favier as well, tweeting that the young southpaw sits in the low-nineties with his fastball and features a breaker with two varieties of change-ups. Since San Diego has long seen blown past its bonus limitations, the team will double its investment in the form of a penalty tax.