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Ex-MLB player Taylor Motter signs with KBO's Kiwoom Heroes

All Headlines 13:34 December 12, 2019

SEOUL, Dec. 12 (Yonhap) -- Former major leaguer Taylor Motter has signed with the South Korean ballclub Kiwoom Heroes.

The Heroes announced on Thursday that the versatile 30-year-old has agreed to a one-year deal worth $350,000, including incentives.

The Korea Baseball Organization (KBO) club added that Motter can play all infield positions. In his three major league seasons with the Tampa Bay Rays, Seattle Mariners and Minnesota Twins, Motter played every infield position, plus left field and right field.

In 141 big league games, Motter batted .191 with 10 home runs and 37 RBIs. In four Triple-A seasons, Motter has a career batting average of .254 with 44 home runs and 171 RBIs in 324 games.

In this Getty Images file photo from June 22, 2018, Taylor Motter of the Minnesota Twins bobbles a ball hit by Elvis Andrus of the Texas Rangers during the top of the fourth inning of a Major League Baseball regular season game at Target Field in Minneapolis, Minnesota. (Yonhap)

In 2015, he was named the MVP of the Durham Bulls, the Rays' Triple-A affiliate, after ranking first in the International League in doubles (43) and extra-base hits (58) and finishing in the top 10 in a few other offensive categories.

"Motter is a great defensive player who will give us flexibility on the field," the Heroes said. "As a hitter, he can put the ball in play and has good gap power."

In a statement released by the Heroes, Motter said he has some KBO connections. He played minor league ball in the Rays' system with current Samsung Lions shortstop Lee Hak-ju. Motter also said his wife is close friends with the wife of KT Wiz outfielder Mel Rojas Jr.

Motter replaces slugging outfielder Jerry Sands in the Heroes' lineup. While making $500,000, Sands led the KBO with 113 RBIs and 39 doubles in 2019, finishing second with 100 runs scored. The Heroes previously said they'd made Sands an offer but that the player didn't respond.

Sands, who joined the Heroes late in the 2018 season, was the only KBO player in 2019 with at least a .300 batting average, 20 home runs, 100 RBIs and 100 runs scored.

With Thursday's signing, the Heroes became the fourth KBO club to fill its foreign player spots for next season. They'd earlier re-signed two American pitchers, Eric Jokisch and Jake Brigham.

KBO teams can sign up to three import players, with no more than two pitchers.

jeeho@yna.co.kr
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