(LEAD) Last-place baseball club signs ex-MLB pitcher Rucinski
(ATTN: UPDATES with club's roster decision at bottom)
SEOUL, Nov. 30 (Yonhap) -- The NC Dinos, the last-place team in South Korean baseball in 2018, have signed former big league pitcher Drew Rucinski.
The Dinos, which finished 10th in the Korea Baseball Organization (KBO) this year, said Friday the 29-year-old American right-hander agreed to a one-year deal worth US$1 million. The contract includes a $200,000 signing bonus and an option for another $200,000.
Rucinski has appeared in 41 major league games for three franchises, most recently 32 games for the Miami Marlins in 2018. He was 4-2 with a 4.33 ERA out of the bullpen this year, and has a career record of 4-4 and a 5.33 ERA.
Rucinski has a minor league record of 30-36 and a 4.21 ERA in 156 games, including 83 starts.
The Dinos said they're counting on Rucinski to bring some stability to their rotation. He will join the new team in spring training in Tucson, Arizona, in February.
After making the postseason for four consecutive seasons, the Dinos posted the worst record in the KBO this year at 58-85-1 (wins-losses-ties). They also had the worst team ERA at 5.48 and recorded the fewest strikeouts with 1,010.
KBO clubs can each sign up to two foreign pitchers. In 2018, the Dinos had American Logan Verrett and Taiwanese Wang Wei-Chung.
Wang, the first from his country to pitch in the KBO, was 7-10 with a 4.26 ERA in 25 starts, while Verrett had a 6-10 record and a 5.28 ERA in 29 starts.
Hours after signing Rucinski, the Dinos announced they have relinquished their reserve rights on both Verrett and Wang and made them free agents.
If the club had retained rights to the players but still chose not to re-sign them, Verrett and Wang wouldn't have been able to join another KBO team without the Dinos' consent.
Major N. Korean websites offline as of Tuesday morning
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