MINNESOTA TWINS: Korea’s Byung-Ho Park OUT; Japan’s Shohei Ohtani IN?
Byung-Ho Park’s disappointing tenure with the Twins organization came to an end on Sunday. The South Korean ballplayer requested, and was granted, release from his contract. Park is going to rejoin his former team, the Nexen Heroes, of the Korean Baseball Organization (KBO).
After short stint with #MNTwins, Korean DH/1B Byung-Ho Park has rejoined his former KBO club, Nexen Heroes. One year, 1.5 billion Korean won ($1.4 million).
— Jeeho Yoo (@Jeeho_1) November 27, 2017
Byung-Ho signed with Minnesota in December, 2015. The hype surrounding him was apparently worth $12.85 million just to have negotiation rights. After footing that bill, the Pohlad owned franchise agreed to a 4 year/$12 million deal with Park. With yesterday’s mutual parting, they won’t be forced to honor the final two years of that deal. THANK YOU. THANK YOU. THANK YOU. The now former Twin will earn 1.5 million USD next year in South Korea.
— Sport Macro (@sportmacro) September 27, 2017
This isn’t the KBO, big boy. I guess there’s no need to tell Park that. In his 62 games at the big league level, Park had a batting average of .191. As for his 142 games played at the Triple AAA level, he hit below .250. Hamstring injuries and “trying to find his swing” this summer are where this MLB story ends. Byung-Ho Park, a Major League Baseball bust. Tsuyoshi Nishioka style.
On to the next Asian League player! The “Japanese Babe Ruth” is still out there. The Twins remained very interested in the Shohei Ohtani. Ohtani has expressed his interest in both pitching and hitting in the majors. Thad Levine expressed his willingness to let him do both. I FULLY understand Twins Nation concern with this potential signing. We swung and completely missed on our previous two.
Nishioka is going to push me into the cigarettes. #twins
— Kevin Watterson (@kwatt) July 29, 2011
However, with rule changes in place from the time we signed Park/Nishioka ,the initial financial investment isn’t as substantial. Dice K and the 50 million dollars Boston blew on him is actually the motivation for these changes, but I regress. The point is you can’t just open up your check-book on Asian League players anymore. There are rules and regulations in place. For example, Ohtani can only agree to a minor league deal. Where he can make the most of his initial money is via a signing bonus. Team can ONLY use funds from their international signing pool for this bonus. MN has the third most out of all MLB teams in said pool (approx $3.25M).
That’s a drop in the bucket for the Pohlad folk. Let’s send it. Wire that damn cash. Sign Yu Darvish too while you’re at it. Put our new trainer with a Japanese background to work.
Japanese two-way star Shohei Ohtani is on his way to MLB. Where will ‘Japan’s Babe Ruth’ land? pic.twitter.com/eYQOaxkjZx
— Stadium (@WatchStadium) November 23, 2017
If you want to learn more about Shohei Ohtani, click here: Japan’s Babe Ruth