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Cardinals may be closing in on deal for Korean reliever Seung-Hwan Oh

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St. Louis has whiffed on multiple big-name free agents this winter — see: Jason Heyward, David Price — but it appears the defending National League Central champions are leading the pursuit for popular South Korean reliever Seung-Hwan Oh.

According to Daniel Kim of KBSn, the Cardinals have shown serious interest in Oh “from the get go” and “all signs point to” them finalizing a deal with the 33-year-old right-hander at some point in the near future.

Oh boasts a 1.81 ERA, 0.85 WHIP, and 10.7 K/9 in 646 1/3 career innings between the Korea Baseball Organization and Japan’s Central League. He earned 41 saves last year for the Hanshin Tigers and has earned the nickname “Final Boss” for his prowess closing games around Asia.

Kim says Oh got on a plane Saturday bound for the United States.

He would work in a setup role for closer Trevor Rosenthal in St. Louis.

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UPDATE, 11:48 A.M. ET: Oh is scheduled to undergo a physical for the Cardinals on Monday, per Kim. If it goes smoothly, the agreement will be officially announced.

Rockies, Trevor Story agree on two-year, $27.5 million contract

Trevor Story
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ESPN’s Jeff Passan reports that the Rockies and shortstop Trevor Story have come to terms on a two-year, $27.5 million deal, buying out his two remaining years of arbitration eligibility.

Story, 27, and the Rockies did not agree on a salary before the deadline earlier this month. Story filed for $11.5 million while the team countered at $10.75 million. The average annual value of this deal — $13.75 million — puts him a little bit ahead this year and likely a little bit behind next year.

This past season in Colorado, Story hit .294/.363/.554 with 35 home runs, 85 RBI, 111 runs scored, and 23 stolen bases over 656 trips to the plate. He also continued to rank among the game’s best defensive shortstops. Per FanGraphs, Story’s 10.9 Wins Above Replacement over the last two seasons is fifth-best among shortstops (min. 1,000 PA) behind Alex Bregman, Francisco Lindor, Xander Bogaerts, and Marcus Semien.

With third baseman Nolan Arenado likely on his way out via trade, one wonders if the same fate awaits Story at some point over the next two seasons.