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Kia Tigers import new pitcher, retain American outfielder

Sports 15:59 December 10, 2019

SEOUL, Dec. 10 (Yonhap) -- South Korean baseball club Kia Tigers said Tuesday they've acquired a new American pitcher and re-signed an American outfielder from this past season.

The Korea Baseball Organization (KBO) team announced the signing of right-hander Drew Gagnon to a one-year deal worth US$850,000, including a $200,000 signing bonus.

In this Getty Images file photo from April 30, 2019, Drew Gagnon of the New York Mets tries to pick off the runner at first in the top of the 10th inning of a Major League Baseball regular season game against the Cincinnati Reds at Citi Field in New York. (Yonhap)

In addition, the Tigers will bring back outfielder Preston Tucker to a new one-year deal at $850,000, with a signing bonus of $300,000.

Gagnon, 29, has pitched in 23 big league games, all of them with the New York Mets across the last two seasons. Gagnon went 3-1 with an 8.37 ERA in 18 games out of the Mets' bullpen in 2019.

He also made 15 starts for the Mets' Triple-A team in Syracuse this year, with a 6-5 record and a 2.33 ERA.

The Tigers said Gagnon is a groundball pitcher who mixes his four-seam fastball with a cutter, changeup and curve.

Tucker arrived in the KBO in May 2019 as a midseason replacement for Jeremy Hazelbaker. In 95 games, Tucker batted .311 with nine home runs and 50 RBIs.

These two signings complete the Tigers' foreign player picture for 2020. On Nov. 14, they acquired former big league right-hander Aaron Brooks for $679,000.

The Tigers' rotation in 2019 featured Joe Wieland (8-10, 4.75 ERA) and Jacob Turner (7-13, 5.46 ERA).

KBO clubs can sign up to three foreign players, with a maximum of two pitchers.

In this file photo from Sept. 17, 2019, Preston Tucker of the Kia Tigers gets a single against the NC Dinos in the bottom of the third inning of a Korea Baseball Organization regular season game at Gwangju-Kia Champions Field in Gwangju, 330 kilometers south of Seoul. (Yonhap)


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