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Another Korean to join MLB – Pitcher Oh Seung Hwan signs with St Louis Cardinals

ST. LOUIS (AP) — Oh Seung Hwan has been such a dominant pitcher in Japan that he has two nicknames: “Fi-nal Boss” and “Stone Buddha.”

The St. Louis Cardinals project the Korean with 357 career saves as a reliever who’ll get the ball to their own record-setting closer, Trevor Rosenthal.

“We felt like we wanted to do something to ramp it up,” general manager John Mozeliak said Monday at a news conference to announce the signing of Oh to a one-year contract with a club option for a second year. “He really matched up well for what we were trying to accomplish.”

The 33-year-old Oh, who had 41 saves last year, said through an interpreter that playing in the major leagues has long been a dream and now “the dream comes true.”

“I’ve achieved everything in Korea and Japan as a closer,” Oh said. “I wanted a new environment and was looking for motivation.”

Oh had been facing a suspension for casino gambling had he returned to pitch in Korea.

He said he hadn’t been aware that casino gambling was illegal in that country.

Mozeliak said the sides came to an agreement before that suspension was announced.

Oh signed a free agent deal with Hanshin prior to last season. He led the Central League in saves in 2014 and ’15, setting the record for most saves by a Korean pitcher in Japanese baseball.

via Ex-Hanshin closer Oh joins Cards – The Japan News.

AsianPlayers