General manager Jon Daniels does not want to spend big this offseason, but continues to find ways to improve the organization at a low-cost. What kind of impact can veteran reliever Seung-hwan Oh make in Texas?
According to Ken Rosenthal, the Texas Rangers have agreed to a deal with free agent reliever Seung-hwan Oh. The deal is pending physical and the club has not confirmed the report. It is reportedly a one-year deal for $2.75 million with a $250,000 buyout.
The deal also includes a $4.5 million club option for the 2019 season. Oh has performance bonuses in the deal for up to $1 million each year. He will be entering his third Major League season in 2018.
Oh, 35, began his Major League career with the St. Louis Cardinals in 2016. He went 6-3 with a 1.92 ERA in 76 games with 19 saves. He pitched 79.2 innings, allowing just 55 hits and 18 walks during that time. Oh also struck out 103 batters and finished sixth in the Rookie of the Year balloting.
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The 2017 season was a completely different story for Oh. He went 1-6 with a 4.10 ERA in 62 games with 20 saves. He pitched 59.1 innings, allowing 68 hits and 10 homers with only 54 strikeouts.
Oh spent 11 seasons in the foreign leagues before signing a two-year deal with the Cardinals. He was an elite reliever during his time in Japan and South Korea. He was also younger at the time and the talent in foreign leagues is not always similar to MLB standards.
However, Oh managed to put together one good season and one mediocre campaign. It is a low risk move by Texas who is looking for late inning relievers. Oh has 39 career saves in the MLB, which is more than anyone of the current Rangers roster.
The Rangers did not want to pay for a top-tier arm, so adding Oh is the next best thing. A smart move by Jon Daniels, but we’ll wait and see if Oh has anything left in the tank this spring. Regardless, Oh should be an upgrade over some of the bullpen options last season.