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Baseball club releases veteran reliever

Sports 16:21 February 01, 2019

SEOUL, Feb. 1 (Yonhap) -- South Korean baseball club Hanwha Eagles on Friday released veteran reliever Kwon Hyuk, granting his wish to seek an opportunity with another team.

The Korea Baseball Organization (KBO) team said Kwon has asked the league office to make the 35-year-old a free agent. Once the paperwork is done, Kwon will be free to negotiate with any team.

Kwon had been talking to the Eagles, a team he'd pitched for since 2015, for a new deal after his four-year deal expired at the end of last season. He was willing to take a pay cut, after making just 16 appearances in an injury-plagued 2018 season and going 1-1 with a 4.91 ERA. He made 450 million won (US$402,300) last year.

In this file photo from Sept. 5, 2018, Kwon Hyuk of the Hanwha Eagles pitches against the Lotte Giants in a Korea Baseball Organization regular season game at Hanwha Life Eagles Park in Daejeon, 160 kilometers south of Seoul. (Yonhap)

But after being told to report to the Eagles' minor league training camp, instead of the first team, Kwon asked the team on Wednesday to release him because he thought the Eagles, with younger arms in the mix, wouldn't give him a chance to pitch on a regular basis.

When healthy, Kwon had been a steady workhorse for the Eagles. He made 78 appearances in 2015, picking up 17 saves and six holds with a 4.98 ERA across 112 innings. In 2016, he lowered his ERA to 3.87 in 95 1/3 innings in 66 games.

But injuries limited him to a total of just 53 appearances in 2017 and 2018.

jeeho@yna.co.kr
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