By Andrew Hendriks
Canadian Baseball Network
After his $2.75M deal with the Texas Rangers collapsed following a failed physical earlier this month, free-agent reliever Seung-hwan Oh has come to terms on a one-year, $1.75M pact with the Toronto Blue Jays.
The deal includes a club option for 2019 ($2.5M) that can automatically vest based upon appearances.
Oh, 35, has posted an ERA of 2.85 with 157 strikeouts against only 33 walks with the St. Louis Cardinals since coming over from Japan as an international free agent in 2016. Over that two-year stretch, the product of Jeongeup, South Korea has converted 39 saves in 47 attempts while limiting his opposition to a .233 batting average across 139 innings.
Nicknamed "The Final Boss" by his peers back home, the 5-foot-10 righty posted impressive totals over parts of 11 seasons in the Korean Baseball Organization (KBO) and in the Japan Central League. Those numbers include a career WHIP of 0.854, a K/9 of 10.7 and 357 saves in 571 assignments.
With a fastball that can touch 96 mph, the former KBO Rookie of the Year also utilizes three off-speed pitches including a slider, changeup the occasional curveball.
As revealed by Oh's Agent Don-Wook Kim on Monday, the hold up in Oh's original deal with the Rangers centered around the fact that the team had discovered some inflammation in his right elbow during his physical.
Sportsnet's Ben Nicholson-Smith indicated that Oh had passed a physical with the Blue Jays on Monday. The right-hander will now join a bullpen mix that includes Roberto Osuna, Danny Barnes, Ryan Tepera and Aaron Loup. If the Blue Jays opt to roll out an eight-man group again in 2018, that would leave three spots up for grabs with John Axford (Port Dover, Ont.), Carlos Ramirez, Craig Breslow, Tim Mayza, Matt Dermody and Al Alburquerque all competing for an Opening Day assignment this spring.
To make room on the 40-man roster for Oh, the Blue Jays designated OF Ezequiel Carrera for assignment
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