Robert Murray of FanRag Sports reported late Sunday night that the Blue Jays signed reliever Seung-hwan Oh. Sportsnet’s BenNicholson-Smith also reported last night that the deal is a one-year pact worth $2 million with a 2019 vesting option. The Blue Jays still haven’t announced the deal but Oh passed his physical, Nicholson-Smith reports, so an announcement should come rather soon.
The Rangers had agreed to a contract with Oh earlier this month, but the club took an issue with his MRI results and voided the deal on February 17.
Oh, 35, impressed in his first season in the majors two seasons ago, finishing with a 1.92 ERA and a 103/18 K/BB ratio over 79 2/3 innings. However, he struggled a bit last year, compiling a 4.10 ERA with a 54/15 K/BB ratio in 59 1/3 innings.
The Jays already have Roberto Osuna in the closer’s role. Oh will likely help bridge the gap to him in the seventh and eighth innings.
Bryce Harper has, in recent years, declined participation in the Home Run Derby, with his last go at it coming in 2013, losing to Yoenis Cespedes in the final round. With the All-Star Game taking place at Nationals Park in Washington, however, he has changed his mind, saying today that he will compete if he is selected for the All-Star team.
Harper is currently second in voting among National League outfielders, so he stands a pretty good chance of making it. Even if he falls off in the voting, you have to assume that the powers that be will nudge NL manager A.J. Hinch to select Harper as a reserve, partially because of his actual power — he does have 19 homers so far this year — but mostly for his star power.
Simply put, you know dang well that both Major League Baseball and the Nationals want a home town guy with big time star power in the Derby, even if he’s not having as good a year as he’s capable of. As such, figure to see Harper hitting long balls in D.C. on July 16.