Rookie left-hander Pat Dean reportedly signed a one-year, $900,000 deal with the Kia Tigers of the Korea Baseball Organization, according to MyKBO.net’s Dan Kurtz.
Dean made his major league debut with the Twins in 2016, racking up a 6.28 ERA and 5.20 FIP over 67 1/3 innings between April and September. He fared little better in Triple-A Rochester, working a 5.56 ERA and 2.58 K/BB rate in 16 starts. The Twins called him up a second time in August after seeing three of their pitchers hit the disabled list, using the 27-year-old as bullpen filler through the remainder of the season. The lefty was outrighted, along with Tommy Milone, Andrew Albers, James Beresford and Logan Schafer on October 17.
The KBO might skew more toward hitters than struggling pitchers, but Dean won’t be the first former MLB pitcher in its ranks. He’ll join former White Sox hurler Hector Noesi, who pitched to a 3.51 ERA for the Tigers in 2016, as well as former Dodgers outfielder Roger Bernadina. According to the Yonhap News Agency, Dean is slated to replace right-hander Zeke Spruill, who completed his one-year contract with the Tigers after going 10-13 with a 5.33 ERA in 147 innings.
Kyle Schwarber broke into the bigs in 2015 with a big bat. After missing almost all of the last season with an injury, he reemerged as a postseason hero, posting a .971 OPS in the World Series. As 2017 began he was supposed to be one of the key parts of a potent Cubs offense.
Then the baseball games actually started and he has hit a mere .171/.295/.378. Indeed, he has the lowest batting average among qualified MLB hitters in 2017. Given that he has very little if any defensive value, he has been a significant drag on the Cubs, who are just a single game over .500.
The Cubs are also putting Jason Heyward on the disabled list, so the outfield is a bit of a mess these days. Lucky for them, they’re only trailing the Brewers by a game and a half.
A surprising move out of Oakland: the Athletics have designated catcher Stephen Vogt for assignment.
Vogt is suffering through a bad season at the plate, hitting .217/.287/.357, so on the basis of pure performance it’s understandable that the A’s may want to part ways with the 32-year-old former All-Star. That said, Vogt is considered to be a leader in the Oakland clubhouse and is one of the last players remaining from the A’s 2013-14 playoff teams.
Catcher Bruce Maxwell has been recalled from Triple-A to take Vogt’s place on the roster. Main catching duties will belong to Josh Phegley.