The Minnesota Twins brought slugger Byung Ho Park to the States hoping he would smash home runs here for years to come. Park is now heading back to Korea.
The Minnesota Twins 1B/DH Byung-Ho Park has decided to head back to his former team in the KBO the Nexen Heroes for the 2018 season. The reported deal is for $1.4 million or 1.5 billion South Korean won.
This obviously is a bit of a disappointment. The Twins paid a lot of money to simply negotiate with Park when they paid a posting fee of $12.85 million. Since then the Twins invested $6 million into Park’s salary the past two years. This move does look like the best move for both parties as it seemed for whatever reason Park just didn’t figure things out stateside.
Something all fans will hopefully be able to remember is the point in time where it looked like Park had MLB hitting figured out. That was an exciting place in time. Even while the Twins were not doing well we could count on the chance for Park to give the baseball a good ride.
On May 14, 2016, the Twins faced off against the Cleveland Indians and won 6-3. In that game, Park launched two home runs bringing his season stat line to .248/.336/.574 and 9 home runs. From then on, injury and strikeouts would bring Park’s stat line to a much less impressive place. As Park leaves the majors his career stat line reads .191/.275/.409, 12 home runs, and 80 strikeouts.
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What Park showed in early 2016 as a right-handed DH with power is still a skill the Twins could use as the team looks toward 2018. That need is exactly why many of us were watching and hoping for Park to emerge from Triple-A Rochester. As Park leaves the Twins are left with Robbie Grossman and Kennys Vargas competing for the Twins 2018 DH duties unless there is another player signed.
Maybe the good news about this is that Park has reportedly agreed to forfeit the remainder of his contract in order to return to Korea.
This move does then open up some money for the Twins to put towards other signings as that money will no longer be committed to Park.
It really is unfortunate that we were unable to see any more Park home runs at Target Field. Hopefully, the 31-year olds move back to Korea will be good for him and he will be able to return with a Park-Bang to the KBO.