The Hanwha Eagles of the KBO League have signed pitcher Burch Smith for the 2023 season, based on experiences out of South Korea (hat tip to Dan Kurtz of MyKBO.internet). Smith’s contract is price as much as $1MM, with the righty receiving a $100K signing bonus, $700K wage, and the chance to earn an extra $200K in incentives.
Initially drafted by the Padres in 2011, Smith would shortly debut for the workforce in 2013, albeit to a lackluster 6.44 ERA in 36 1/3 innings. He was traded to the Rays after the 2014 season and would quickly bear Tommy John surgical procedure, lacking the 2015 and 2016 seasons. He returned to the Majors in 2018 with the Royals, however as soon as once more pitched to an ineffective 6.92 ERA in 78 innings and was designated for project. Smith would go on to have quick stints with the Brewers and Giants earlier than latching on to a extra everlasting position with the Athletics throughout the 2021 season. Over components of 5 MLB seasons, Smith holds a excessive 6.03 ERA in 191 innings with below-average strikeout and stroll charges, 21.3% and 10.1%, respectively.
Smith transitioned abroad for the 2022 season, spending the yr with the Saitama Seibu Lions of Japan’s NPB league. He was considerably more practical there, throwing 38 1/3 innings of three.29 ERA baseball with a 23.7% strikeout charge and 9% stroll charge.
Smith, who might be 33 years previous in April, is now in line to play his second consecutive season abroad. There may be little indication that the veteran reliever obtained any MLB curiosity previous to his contract with the Eagles. As an alternative, Smith will head to South Korea and earn considerably greater than what he may have comprised of a possible minor league contract.