March 09, 2015 09:43
Pitcher Yoon Suk-min has signed a four-year, W9 billion (US$1=W1,099) deal with the Kia Tigers after spending a year in the U.S. trying to break into Major League Baseball.
The deal was signed in Los Angeles, where Yoon has been training privately. Yoon will earn W1.25 billion a year, on top of a W4 billion signing fee. He returned to Korea on Friday evening, and will join the Tigers when the season starts on March 28.
After the 2013 season, Yoon moved to the U.S. to try his luck in the major leagues. In February last year he signed a three-year deal worth US$5.75 million with the Baltimore Orioles and played in 23 games for their affiliated Triple A minor league team, the Norfolk Tides. After a disappointing season (four wins, eight losses and a 5.74 ERA), Yoon was not invited to the Orioles' spring training and failed to earn a spot in a pre-season exhibition game for this season.
With his chances of another season in the U.S. looking slim, Yoon's former team Kia persuaded him to return. The Tigers paid a symbolic sum of US$1 to buy him out under a deal that freed the Orioles of their obligation to pay Yoon his remaining two years' salary, amounting to $4.5 million.
"I wanted to continue challenging myself in MLB, but Kia wanted me and I was moved by their effort. I thank Kia fans for the undying support they showed throughout the tough times in the U.S., and I hope to repay them by performing well at Kia," Yoon said.
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