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Byung-Ho Park Signs With KBO’s Nexen Heroes

The Byungho Park Era is officially over in Minnesota while some would argue it was over even before last season. Park is headed back to the KBO to play for his former team the Nexen Heroes. As part of his new deal, Park will earn $1.4 million or 1.5 billion South Korean won.
Image courtesy of Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports
Yonhap News reporter Jeejo Yoo was the first to report Park’s return to Korea.

Park struggled with the transition to major league baseball. In 62 big league games, he hit .191/.275/.412 with 12 home runs and nine doubles. His 80 to 21 strikeout to walk ratio was a little tough to swallow. He fought through some injuries in his first season and he was never able to fully put it together.

Park was removed from the Twins 40-man roster last off-season and played in 111 Triple-A games in 2017 while continuing to battle through injuries. He finished 2017 hitting .253/.308/.415 with 130 strikeouts in 111 games. Park added 14 home runs and 22 doubles but it still wasn’t enough to make it back to the big leagues.

Park had two years and $6.5 million remaining on his initial contract with the Twins. He will turn 32 next season and it was probably in the best interests of both parties to go their separate ways.

What was your favorite Byungho Park moment? Should the Twins have given him another shot? Leave a COMMENT and start the discussion.


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60 Comments

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ashburyjohn
Nov 26 2017 09:30 PM

So he left Twins money on the table, so as not to languish in AAA? That's a lot of dough.

    • glunn likes this
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Brock Beauchamp
Nov 26 2017 09:42 PM

Well, this is good for everyone involved. That frees up Eduardo Escobar money (well, close to it) for the Twins next season.

    • glunn, beckmt, Danchat and 2 others like this
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operation mindcrime
Nov 26 2017 09:51 PM
My favorite moment is today! :) \m/
    • Jerr likes this

mlbtraderumors says the Twins are still on the hook for the money over the next two years.

 

My favorite Park moment - https://www.mlb.com/...mer/c-593993283

 

I really wish it had worked out for him b/c he had more power than Sano, I think.

    • glunn, Oldgoat_MN and woolywoolhouse like this

I was very confident in early 2016 that Park was going to pan out... it wasn't quite like the Nishioka experiment in its glorious and colossal failure, but it was once again another blemish on TR's record. Hopefully the Twins will recoup that $6.5M they owe him.

mlbtraderumors says the Twins are still on the hook for the money over the next two years.
 
My favorite Park moment - https://www.mlb.com/...mer/c-593993283
 
I really wish it had worked out for him b/c he had more power than Sano, I think.


I haven't had time to read said article, but is that really accurate? I would think they would be on the hook for any money still owed for the initial rights to him, but considering there does exist some sort of agreement between the league and MLB, wouldn't they be, at most, responsible for a differential in the contract? Much like if he was released and signed with a ML team?
    • glunn likes this
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KirbyDome89
Nov 26 2017 10:06 PM

InB4 "Niskioka all over again"

 

It was a worthwhile gamble by the Twins. Even though it didn't work out I can't knock the decision to takea chance on foreign talent.  

 

 

    • glunn, gunnarthor, beckmt and 2 others like this
I believe there was some merit in the initial signing. It just didn't work, and this is the best outcome for all involved. He was clearly behind Vargas and Grossman to the FO, and perhaps deservedly so. And while the team could still, possibly, need another RH bat that can play a position, it's not a priority as the player portion of the roster is constructed: productive, mostly young and getting better and better.

An OF or 1B off the bench with pop to possibly replace Vargas or Grossman could be a possibility and it just doesn't seem Park is/was that guy. More and more, I'm warming up to the idea of Reynolds as that guy, as Seth mentioned in his blueprint. He wouldn't cost a lot, still seems to have "it", can play a decent 1B, fill in if need be at 3B, (though I don't see said need as being anything more than emergency), and is a rather proven commodity, if not a "big get".
    • Respy likes this

A Rotoworld writer claims this:

 

 

In doing so, Park leaves $6.5 million on the table that he was still owed from the Twins.

 

    • glunn likes this

 

I haven't had time to read said article, but is that really accurate? I would think they would be on the hook for any money still owed for the initial rights to him, but considering there does exist some sort of agreement between the league and MLB, wouldn't they be, at most, responsible for a differential in the contract? Much like if he was released and signed with a ML team?

If he went to the Twins and asked to be released, I can't imagine why they would say no.Maybe Vargas gets a legit shot at a full time position.I still think he could put up some sick numbers if they would just give him the job and let him play.

    • glunn likes this

I know they are on tap for the posting money or whatever, but since he asked to be released from his contract to return home...I don't see how the Twins owe him the remainder. If so, they can ask him to stay and play.

 

 

    • USAFChief, glunn, Jerr and 3 others like this

Good for him I guess, no sense to spend the end of your prime in AAA here when he can still be a star and more comfortable in his home country. But I have a real hard time believing the Twins would have signed a contract that said if you fizzle out and quit and go home we will still pay you. Actually quite the opposite. Wouldn't it be like a player retiring and voiding the remaining contract or whatever happens?

    • Jerr, mikelink45 and Broker like this
I will always wonder how much of this was marketing, both in Korea and in MN. The Twins had numerous bashers with long swings, who had trouble with both velocity and spin, and the inability to make contact. They put up good numbers in AAA and hardly ever set foot in MN. Yet we "outbid" all of baseball for Park, and were to believe his flaws were a mirage? I tend to be a skeptical pragmatic, and when the MN Twins, at least the previous administration, win a bidding contest at anything bigger than an estate auction, something is amiss.
    • DJSim22 likes this

 

InB4 "Niskioka all over again"

 

 

Funny how the defensive parts of the mind works - I had completely blocked out and forgotten about Nishi.

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tarheeltwinsfan
Nov 27 2017 08:17 AM

Best wishes to Mr. Park. The Twins and he gave it a shot and it didn't work out. Onward and upward!

    • gunnarthor, Oldgoat_MN and Dozier's Glorious Hair like this
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Tom Froemming
Nov 27 2017 08:19 AM

My favorite Park moment was him being one of the only reasons to watch the dumpster fire that was the first month and a half of 2016. Through May 15, he was hitting .257/.342/.581 (.923 OPS) with 9 homers, but the Twins were 10-26 over that stretch.

    • glunn, Thrylos and Oldgoat_MN like this

Nishi was Bill Smith and Gardy,Park was TR, but seems to have worked out better, just do not know if he was healthy how it would have gone.There was not room in the win now mode the Twins were entering, and Park realized that, so good for both sides.

    • Jerr likes this

Would guess that Rooker is going to play 1B at some time this year in Rochester and there was no room to continue the Park experiment.

    • glunn and Respy like this

Expect this is like breaking any contract and something we will never know the full details.After coming to an agreement to return home, he was likely bought out of his contract for a partial buy-out fee.How much, we may never know.

 

    • glunn, Jerr and snap4birds like this

It was worth the gamble.It hurt nothing.No Twin was kept from advancing and if it had worked it would have been great.The Korean League can pretend to be the major league and players like Park can be heroes.Now he can even say he played in the American MLB and that can only help his reputation. 

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Deduno Abides
Nov 27 2017 10:35 AM
For those saying it was worth a shot and didn’t hurt anything, remember that Park’s signing, as well as keeping Plouffe, is why Sano was moved to RF. That hurt.
    • glunn, Thrylos, gil4 and 4 others like this

 

For those saying it was worth a shot and didn’t hurt anything, remember that Park’s signing, as well as keeping Plouffe, is why Sano was moved to RF. That hurt.

Well, Sano was never going to be DH so Park really had nothing to do with it.

 

Park was a reasonable gamble. For all those who want the Twins to sign Ohtani or Darvish, they'll be blocking Romero, Gonsalves, Thorpe, etc and taking payroll as well. 

    • glunn, Vanimal46 and KirbyDome89 like this

 

I will always wonder how much of this was marketing, both in Korea and in MN. The Twins had numerous bashers with long swings, who had trouble with both velocity and spin, and the inability to make contact. They put up good numbers in AAA and hardly ever set foot in MN. Yet we "outbid" all of baseball for Park, and were to believe his flaws were a mirage? I tend to be a skeptical pragmatic, and when the MN Twins, at least the previous administration, win a bidding contest at anything bigger than an estate auction, something is amiss.

The Twins 'outbid' the entire MLB and paid backup level money for Park. At that price point it was a chance worth taking.

    • glunn, birdwatcher, Oldgoat_MN and 1 other like this

 

Well, Sano was never going to be DH so Park really had nothing to do with it.

 

Park was a reasonable gamble. For all those who want the Twins to sign Ohtani or Darvish, they'll be blocking Romero, Gonsalves, Thorpe, etc and taking payroll as well. 

 

Yeah I agree Park's signing had very little to do with Sano moving to RF. It had everything to do with Plouffe staying in the organization and TR valuing his defense over Sano's. At the time there wasn't any question Plouffe was a better fielder than Sano. 

    • glunn and Oldgoat_MN like this

 

Yeah I agree Park's signing had very little to do with Sano moving to RF. It had everything to do with Plouffe staying in the organization and TR valuing his defense over Sano's. At the time there wasn't any question Plouffe was a better fielder than Sano. 

I think the reason Sano had to go to RF is because the Twins had the misfortune of wanting to trade Plouffe when there was no market whatsoever for third basemen. Plouffe would have been a worse defensive RF than Sano and Sano would have been a worse defensive 3B than Plouffe. So they had to keep Plouffe and play him at 3B hoping that someone would trade a used fungo bat for him. Everyone knew it was short term but it was just one of those unfortunate things.

    • glunn, Oldgoat_MN and Sconnie like this

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