Hanshin Tigers Sign Korean Closer Oh

There were some major league teams interested in Seung-Hwan Oh, including the Yankees, but the team that signed him was the Hanshin Tigers from Japan.  They signed him to a $8.4 million two year contract or $3 million a year with a $2 million signing bonus.  About $500,000 went to the Samsung Lions as a transfer fee.  That would seem to be a high figure for a major league team to throw at a reliever who had yet to prove himself in the major leagues and had a down year in 2013 in the KBO.

The Tigers also signed Mauro Gomez to a one year contract for about $1.2 million.  That would be more than Gomez would make on a minor league contract.  Gomez played his only major league time in 2012 when he hit .275 with two homeruns in 37 games.  In 2013 he bounced around waivers, starting with the Red Sox, picked up on waivers by the Blue Jays and then the Nationals.  The Nationals recently released him so he could play in Japan.

Gomez had a season high 29 homeruns last year playing in the minor leagues in Buffalo, but he only hit .249.  In 2012 Gomez hit 24 homeruns in the minors but batted .310 in ten less minor league games.  Gomez is just another of a boatload of big first baseman who are getting too old to decompose in the minor leagues because of a lack of opportunity, stuck behind a talented major leaguer.     

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