Via Jeeho Yoo of Seoul’s Yonhap News, right-hander Lucas Harrell and outfielder Jim Adduci both agreed to one-year deals Tuesday in the Korea Baseball Organization — Harrell with the KIA Tigers for $900,000 and Adduci with the Lotte Giants for $650,000.
Harrell had a really promising year for the Astros in 2012, posting a 3.76 ERA in 193 2/3 innings, but control issues led him to a terrible 2013 and he was finally cut loose from Houston’s roster this past season. The 29-year-old likely would have had to settle for a non-guaranteed minor league contract for the 2015 season had he tried to remain in North America. And the same goes for Adduci, a fellow 29-year-old with a poor .189/.259/.242 career batting line in 148 plate appearances at the big league level.
Two guys who spent some time in the bigs but who have found more success in Asia have decided to stay in Asia.
Darin Ruf has re-signed with the Samsung Lions of KBO, per MLB Trade Rumors. Ruf, who played five years for the Phillies but didn’t really have the numbers to stick, has stuck just fine in Korea. In two seasons in the offense-friendly league he has hit 64 homers and has put up a line of .322/.412/.587. His new deal with Samsung will pay him a guaranteed $1.4 million with $300K in potential bonuses.
The other guy — Nick Martinez — has signed a $2.5 million plus incentives deal to stay with the Nippon Ham Fighters of NPB. The former Rangers starter went 10-11 with a 3.51 ERA for the Fighters in 2018. He was 17-30 with a 4.77 ERA in four seasons with Texas.
Maybe Ruf and Martinez still have U.S. major league dreams, but guaranteed bucks in the Korean and Japanese majors is better than signing minor league deals and riding busses here.