SEOUL, South Korea (AP) – Former Major League Baseball outfielder Yasiel Puig has signed a one-year, $ 1 million contract with South Korean club Kiwoom Heroes.
Puig, who turned 31 this week, hasn’t played in majors since 2019, when he played 100 games for the Cincinnati Reds and 49 for the Cleveland Indians before becoming a free agent.
Seoul-based Heroes general manager Ko Hyung-wook said Puig’s last season in the Mexican League, where he hit .312 and hit 10 home runs for El Aguila de Veracruz, showed his skills remained. “Excellent”.
Ko said Puig still wants to make a comeback in the big leagues and hopes his drive to prove himself will have a positive impact on his Korean teammates. Ko played down concerns about Puig’s maturity, saying he came away feeling the former Los Angeles Dodgers outfielder was “devoted to family and mature” after their personal talks.
Puig hit .277 with 132 homers and 415 RBIs in seven major league seasons, the first six with the Dodgers where he won an All-Star selection in 2014.
Puig’s offensive production regressed over the following years and he also developed a reputation for erratic behavior on the pitch, finding himself in the midst of several bench cleaning incidents. He was suspended for three games in 2019 for his involvement in a brawl against the Pittsburg Pirates in his last game as a Red, an altercation that occurred moments after the team traded him to the Indians of Cleveland.
Puig was reportedly in talks for a deal with the Atlanta Braves last year before announcing via Twitter in July 2020 that he had tested positive for COVID-19.
The Heroes were fifth out of 10 Korean Baseball Organization clubs in this year’s regular season and were knocked out by crosstown rivals Doosan Bears in the first round of the playoffs.
Puig is one of many former MLB players to have signed with KBO teams for next season. The Daejeon-based Hanwha Eagles announced Friday they have signed a one-year contract with former San Francisco Giants outfielder Mike Tauchman.
Tauchman’s best season in the majors came in 2019, when he netted 13 homers and 47 RBIs while appearing in 87 games for the New York Yankees. But he failed to hit another home run for the Yankees before being traded to the Giants mid-season in 2021.
The Seoul-based LG Twins have announced that they have signed former Baltimore Orioles relief pitcher Adam Plutko to a one-year contract with a potential value of $ 800,000, including a maximum of $ 300,000. in incentives. Plutko has been in 38 games for the Orioles this year and earned a brace with a 6.71 ERA.
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