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Reigning KBO MVP Lindblom signs with Brewers

Sports 09:28 December 12, 2019

By Yoo Jee-ho

SEOUL, Dec. 12 (Yonhap) -- American right-hander Josh Lindblom, the reigning MVP in South Korean baseball, has signed a three-year deal with the Milwaukee Brewers.

The deal was first reported in the United States on Wednesday (local time), and an informed source confirmed to Yonhap News Agency on Thursday in Seoul that Lindblom will make US$9.125 million over the next three seasons.

The 32-year-old pitcher is returning to Major League Baseball (MLB) for the first time since his brief, second stint with the Pittsburgh Pirates in 2017.

Josh Lindblom speaks after receiving the Golden Glove in the pitcher category during the annual awards ceremony held by the Korea Baseball Organization at COEX in Seoul on Dec. 9, 2019. (Yonhap)

Lindblom dominated the Korea Baseball Organization (KBO) over the past two years with the Doosan Bears, a stretch that culminated in a regular season MVP award last month.

Lindblom went 20-3 with a 2.50 ERA and 189 strikeouts. He topped the KBO in wins and strikeouts, and finished second in ERA, one category shy of a pitching Triple Crown.

Lindblom, a native of Lafayette, Indiana, was drafted by the Houston Astros in the third round in 2005 out of high school but chose to attend college instead of signing with them. Three years later, the Los Angeles Dodgers selected Lindblom in the second round of the draft out of Purdue University.

Lindblom made his major league debut with the Dodgers in 2011 and went on to make 110 total major league appearances with three other clubs before joining the Lotte Giants in the KBO for the 2015 season.

He returned to the U.S. in 2017 and pitched in four games for the Pirates before rejoining the Giants in midseason.

Lindblom then signed with the Bears in December 2017 and went 35-7 with a 2.68 ERA in 56 starts in two seasons with them.

In addition to the MVP award this year, Lindblom won his second straight Choi Dong-won Award, the KBO's equivalent of the Cy Young Award, and also picked up his second straight Golden Glove. He's the first KBO pitcher in 20 years to win back-to-back Golden Gloves.

In five KBO seasons, Lindblom went 63-34 in 130 games with a 3.55 ERA.

Lindblom is also the second former KBO MVP to sign with the Brewers. Infielder Eric Thames, who won the MVP here in 2015, inked a three-year deal with the Brew Crew worth $15 million after the 2016 season.

In this file photo from Oct. 22, 2019, Josh Lindblom of the Doosan Bears pitches against the Kiwoom Heroes in Game 1 of the Korean Series at Jamsil Stadium in Seoul. (Yonhap)

jeeho@yna.co.kr
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