Samsung Lions re-sign career saves leader Oh Seung-hwan to 2-yr deal

SEOUL, Oh Seung-hwan, the all-time saves leader in South Korean baseball history, will be back with the only club he's played for his native country. The Samsung Lions announced Tuesday they have signed Oh to a two-year contract worth 2.2 billion won (US$1.6 million) -- with 1.2 billion won in total salary and 1 billion won in signing bonus. Because of the Lions' salary cap crunch, Oh will earn 400 million won this year and 800 million won next year in salary. Oh hit free agency at age 41 after the end of the 2023 season and had expressed his desire to stay with the Lions. The right-hander has spent his entire 13-year career in the Korea Baseball Organization (KBO) with the Lions. He pitched for the Hanshin Tigers in Japan from 2014 to 2015, and then pitched for the St. Louis Cardinals, Toronto Blue Jays and Colorado Rockies from 2016 to 2019. Oh has recorded 400 saves in the KBO, along with 80 in Japan and 42 in Major League Baseball. No one in KBO history even has 300 saves. Oh had an up-and-down 2023 season in which he was briefly removed from the closer role and was demoted to the minors. Oh even made his first career start last year, as the Lions desperately sought ways to get the veteran back on track. Oh still led the Lions with 30 saves, but his 3.45 ERA was his highest since 2010 and his strikeout rate plummeted to a career-low 16.7 percent. Before signing Oh, the Lions had acquired an All-Star closer Kim Jae-yoon in free agency. Source: Yonhap News Agency