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KBO's Lions finalize deal with ex-big leaguer Saladino

Sports 13:47 January 09, 2020

SEOUL, Jan. 9 (Yonhap) -- South Korean baseball club Samsung Lions finalized their deal with former major leaguer Tyler Saladino on Thursday.

The Korea Baseball Organization (KBO) team inked the 30-year-old American to a one-year deal worth up to US$900,000. He'll make $700,000 in guaranteed salary and received a $100,000 signing bonus. He can make another $100,000 in incentives.

The two sides had agreed to a deal on Christmas Eve, and Saladino arrived in South Korea on Wednesday to undergo his physical before signing the contract.

In this photo provided by the Samsung Lions on Jan. 9, 2020, Tyler Saladino, the Lions' new acquisition, shakes hands with the team president Lim Dai-ki after signing his contract at Daegu Samsung Lions Park in Daegu, 300 kilometers southeast of Seoul. (PHOTO NOT FOR SALE) (Yonhap)

Saladino has appeared in 326 major league games with the Chicago White Sox and the Milwaukee Brewers, with a .226 batting average, 19 home runs and 92 RBIs.

He split the 2019 season in the majors and in Triple-A with the Brewers. In 79 Triple-A games last year, Saladino batted .287 with 17 homers and 64 RBIs.

Saladino will replace slugger Darin Ruf in the Lions' lineup. A former big leaguer himself, Ruf had 86 homers and 350 RBIs in three seasons with the Lions.

While Saladino may not be able to replicate those power numbers, the Lions are counting on his defensive versatility.

In the majors, Saladino has appeared at every position except pitcher and catcher, including 101 games at third base, 97 at shortstop and 76 at second base.

The Lions said Saladino is a good contact hitter with gap power.

In this Getty Images file photo from July 28, 2019, Tyler Saladino of the Milwaukee Brewers reacts after striking out against the Chicago Cubs in the bottom of the fifth inning of a Major League Baseball regular season game at Miller Park in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. (Yonhap)

jeeho@yna.co.kr
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