Cleat Geeks

Will the “Final Boss” be the Final Move?

Still looking to improve the bullpen, John Mozeliak turned to the international market for his next off-season move.oh2

They have officially done that after signing former Korean pitcher Seung-hwan Oh to a one-year contract with a club option for 2017 at a press conference on Monday at Busch Stadium.

Financial terms of the deal are not yet known.

Oh, 33, established himself as an elite closer during his eleven-year career with in the Korean Baseball Association and Japan’s Central League, posting a 1.81 ERA, 0.85 WHIP, and 10.7 K/9 in 646 1/3 career innings while earning the nicknames “The Final Boss” (for his prowess as a closer) and “Stone Buddha” (for being unshaken and maintaining his composure on the mound).

Last season, in his second year with Japan’s Hanshin Tigers, Oh pitched to a 2.73 ERA over 69 1/3 innings while tallying 41 saves to bring his career save total to 357.

oh3Unlike many other Asian players who’ve come to play Major League Baseball in the United States, Oh did not have to go through the posting process because his contract with Hanshin had expired, making him a free agent. Oh was thus free to sign with any team, and that team was not required to pay a posting fee.

Oh will join a strong relief corps behind closer Trevor Rosenthal which is also expected to include Kevin Siegrist, Seth Maness, Jordan Walden, and Jonathon Broxton among others.

In my opinion the Cardinals did a great job with the international signing of a player who does not cost the team a posting fee or having to submit a mystery number in an envelope with a bunch of other teams. But, when the price is not substantial, then the results may not be substantial. He is a closer who will now be a set-up guy. He is 33 years old, and he has a lot of appearances on his arm.

I look at this signing as a part of a team, not a part that makes the team. This will not be the “Final move” the Cardinals make because they are trying to build a team, not buy high priced free agents and fill in with parts.

Parts of this article written by Chris Brown.

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