Byung Ho Park will be moving all the way from halfway across the globe to join the Minnesota Twins to the tune of $12 million in a span of four years.
Hailing from South Korea, Park agreed and signed the contract on Tuesday with the Twins. His presence and addition will give the Twins the firepower the current lineup needs. He will be a welcome addition to the young roster alongside Miguel Sano and tenured stars Trevor Plouffe and Brian Dozier.
In the next two seasons, the 29-year-old Park will receive $2.75 million and will finally get $3 million each in the last two years of the contract, which is in 2018 and 2019.
The Twins put in a $6.5 million option for 2020 with a $500,000 buyout.
In early November, Minnesota won the right to come to terms with Park within 30 days after they placed a high bid of $12.85 million. It was after Park was posted by the Nexen Heroes under Major League Baseball agreement with the Korea Baseball Organization. The money was due only if Park signed with Minnesota.
He has won two MVP awards in nine seasons in Korea. He also hit .343 with 53 homers and 146 RBIs this year. He has a .281 average and 210 homers.
The Twins will most likely use Park as a designated hitter most of the time since Joe Mauer is entrenched as the everyday first baseman.
They also expressed their plans of using Sano as the outfield in the coming season after being primarily used as DH last year.
Park’s case is the second time the Twins won the negotiations by having a posting fee. In 2010, they signed Tsuyoshi Nishioka of Japan. A mediocre performance of just .215 in 71 career games, Nishioka returned to Japan after his contract was not renewed.