Coming to South Korea may be the best move of Eric Pedroia’s baseball career.
The New York Post published an article titled “Starting Pitchers Who Will Strike It Rich in Major League Baseball’s Free Agency Market” on the 10th of this month (KST), and mentioned several free agent starting pitchers who will be in the spotlight this winter. The last pitcher mentioned was Pedi, a right-hander who dominated the KBO this year with the NC Dinos.
According to the New York Post, “Pedi, who received offers from just two teams last winter, has become a coveted free agent by becoming the best pitcher in Korea. One of the teams that offered him a contract last year was the New York Yankees, who saw him as an immediate powerhouse.
A former top prospect who was selected with the 18th overall pick in the first round of the 2014 draft, Pedi struggled last year with the Washington Nationals, going 6-13 with a 5.81 ERA in 27 major league games (127 innings). Washington released him as a non-tender after the season and did not re-sign him. Peddie, who became eligible for free agency on Nov. 19 when he received his de facto release notice, was announced to be headed to South Korea on Dec. 20, a month later.
He signed with NC for the KBO’s new foreign player cap of $1 million. Although he struggled last year, many were surprised to see the veteran big leaguer, who has pitched 27 games as a starter in the last two years and is due $2.25 million in 2022, head to Korea. NC was quick to reach out after being a non-tender. While several other teams were hesitant due to Peddy’s injury history, NC went all-in.
We don’t know what the Yankees offered, but we’re guessing it wasn’t much. He could have stayed in the U.S. and explored opportunities, but he chose to venture to an unfamiliar land, South Korea, and in one year transformed himself into a highly sought-after starter on the major league free agent market.
This season, Pedi dominated the KBO with a 20-6 record in 30 games (180⅓ innings), a 2.00 ERA, 209 strikeouts, a 0.95 WHIP, and a 2.07 WHIP. He became the first foreign pitcher to win the Triple Crown by leading the league in wins, ERA, and strikeouts, while also leading the league in WHIP and batting average. His dominant performance also earned him the MVP award, making him the fifth pitcher in history to win 20 games and strike out 200 batters in 37 years since Hae-tae Sun-dong-yeol in 1986.
The American media has also taken notice of Pedi’s rise. On April 4, MLB.com reported, “Merrill Kelly, who grew up in the KBO and returned to the United States, played a key role in the Arizona Diamondbacks’ run to the World Series. Some in the industry believe he can make the jump to the majors and become a mainstay in the starting rotation,” and “The sweeper, who has been honing his stuff since leaving Washington last year, struck out one batter per inning.
On the 8th, ‘MLB Trade Rumors’ also wrote, “Pedi was once a highly touted prospect, but he never had much success in the big leagues. However, he went to Korea and had a great season. He’s an interesting wild card in this free agent market,” adding that he’s expected to get a better deal than Kelly (Arizona in 2019, two years, $5.5 million), Josh Lindblom (Milwaukee Brewers in 2020, three years, $9.125 million), and Chris Flexen (Seattle Mariners in 2021, two years, $4.75 million), who all signed major league contracts after coming out of the KBO. 카지노사이트
The major league market is also favorable for Peddy. According to the New York Post, “Every team wants a starter. The St. Louis Cardinals, Boston Red Sox, Los Angeles Dodgers, Los Angeles Angels and New York Mets are among the teams looking for more than one starter, creating a very active market.” “Potential starters are ready to hit the jackpot,” the Post said.
“Aaron Nola is reportedly looking for $200 million. Blake Snell, the favorite to win the National League Cy Young Award, has been compared to Stephen Strasburg, who received $245 million over seven years. Yoshinobu Yamamoto could become the first Japanese pitcher to earn $200 million. James Paxton, Hyun-jin Ryu, and others remain popular even after injuries,” he said, highlighting the heated starting free agent market.