According to the team’s Twitter feed, Chan Ho Park has signed with the Orix Buffaloes of Japan’s Pacific League.
Park compiled a 4.66 ERA and 52/19 K/BB ratio over 63 2/3 innings between the Yankees and Pirates last season. The 37-year-old right-hander has a 4.36 ERA over parts of 17 major league seasons. He became the first South Korean to play in the majors when he made his debut with the Dodgers in 1994.
He would have easily been able to find another bullpen gig in the major leagues this winter, but apparently spending half the season with the Pirates was enough to convince him to leave the country.
Update (5:55 PM ET): It’s official. The Mets have optioned Phillip Evans to Triple-A Las Vegas to make room for Bautista on the 25-man roster. Bautista will be available for Tuesday’s game against the Marlins.
SNY’s Andy Martino reports that the Mets are close to a deal with free agent Jose Bautista. This doesn’t come as a surprise, as the Mets were rumored to be interested in him on Monday, a day after the Braves released him.
Bautista, 37, struggled to a .593 OPS in 40 plate appearances with the Braves. He’s coming off of his worst season as a regular, as he hit .203 in 157 games last year with the Blue Jays.
Bautista mostly played in the outfield for the Jays, but played third base for the Braves. The Mets need depth at both third base and in the outfield due to injuries to Todd Frazier, Yoenis Cespedes, and Juan Lagares.
It will be interesting to see who loses their roster spot to accomodate Bautista. I suggested earlier it should be Jose Reyes.