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KBO's Doosan, Kia acquire new pitchers from overseas

All Headlines 18:33 July 25, 2014

SEOUL, July 25 (Yonhap) -- Two clubs fighting to keep their playoff hopes alive in the Korea Baseball Organization (KBO) announced their acquisitions of new foreign pitchers on Friday.

The Doosan Bears said they've signed Cuban right-hander Yunesky Maya in a one-year deal worth US$175,000.

The 32-year-old represented Cuba at the 2006 and the 2009 World Baseball Classic. He signed with the Washington Nationals in Major League Baseball (MLB) as a free agent in 2010 and made 16 big league appearances in 2010, 2011 and 2013, with a record of 1-5 with a 5.80 ERA in 59 innings.

In the minors, Maya has gone 27-32 with a 3.93 ERA in 96 appearances, 93 of them starts. In 2014, he was 3-3 with a 2.63 ERA in 17 appearances for the Gwinnett Braves in the International League, a Triple-A affiliate of the Atlanta Braves.

The Bears said Maya arrived in South Korea on Friday and will join his new KBO team on Saturday.

Maya replaces Chris Volstad, who was released on July 12 after going 5-7 with a 6.21 ERA in 17 games.

The Bears were sitting in fifth place, one behind the final playoff spot, at 38-43, ahead of Friday's game. They trail the fourth-place Lotte Giants by two games.

The Kia Tigers, who are half a game back of the Bears at 39-45, announced they signed American left-hander Justin Thomas to a one-year contract worth $160,000.

Thomas, 30, was drafted by the Seattle Mariners in 2005 and made his big league debut in 2008. He later pitched for the Pittsburgh Pirates, the Boston Red Sox and the New York Yankees, totaling 31 big league appearances with a 0-2 record and a 6.93 ERA in 24 2/3 innings.

In the minors, Thomas went 54-50 in 328 appearances over 10 seasons, with a 4.35 ERA. This year, he made 20 starts for the Salt Lake Bees in the Pacific Coast League, a Triple-A affiliate of the Los Angeles Angels, going 4-8 with a 5.99 ERA in 112 2/3 innings.

Thomas pitched briefly for the Nippon Ham Fighters in Japan in 2013 but went only 0-2 with an 8.71 ERA.

The Tigers said Thomas will arrive in South Korea on Sunday. He is replacing D.J. Houlton, who was waived by the Tigers on Thursday with a 5-8 record and a 4.80 ERA.

Under the KBO rules, new foreign players must be signed by Aug. 15 to be eligible for postseason play.


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