Tuesday, November 22, 2011

O's agree to terms with Korean reliever Chong Tae-Hyon

According to multiple reports, the Orioles have reached a deal with South Korean reliever Chong Tae-Hyon. Apparently the deal will be for two years and $3.2 million. Here's a brief introduction of the 33-year-old Chong, via the HardballTalk link above:
According to a Korean site linked to by MyKBO, Chong, a submariner, tops out at 85 mph with his sinking fastball and throws a curve. He had a 1.48 ERA, 16 saves and a 39/25 K/BB ratio in 54 2/3 innings for the SK Wyverns last year. He pitched for South Korea in the 2008 Olympics and had a 2.25 ERA and seven strikeouts in four innings as the gold medal-winning team’s closer.
Unlike Koji Uehara, who also signed a two-year deal with the O's at age 33, Chong is a full-time reliever and will not be used in the rotation. With this move, the O's have again decided to sign a reliever to a multiyear deal, but it's hard to get too upset about a contract slightly over $3 million, especially without watching Chong pitch routinely against major league hitters yet.

Without question, the O's needed, and still need, to improve the bullpen -- even more so if they're planning to move Jim Johnson into the rotation. Still, I'm a little skeptical about a reliever who can't throw much harder than 85 mph, particularly when he's pitching in the AL East.

1 comment:

  1. It will be interesting to see if this will help the Orioles. Tae-Hyon is 33 years old and is joining the MLB from a Korean league. It doesn't sound like a transition that will be easy to make immediately. How many more solid years does the guy have? And will it be enough? Time will tell.