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Slugger Preston Tucker re-signs with KBO's Tigers

All News 13:51 December 09, 2020

By Yoo Jee-ho

SEOUL, Dec. 9 (Yonhap) -- One of South Korean baseball's top sluggers this year will be back for another go in 2021.

The Kia Tigers of the Korea Baseball Organization (KBO) announced Wednesday they have retained outfielder Preston Tucker on a new one-year deal worth US$1.05 million. He'll earn $700,000 in salary and another $350,000 as a signing bonus. He earned US$850,000 in 2020.

In this file photo from Sept. 12, 2020, Preston Tucker of the Kia Tigers hits an RBI single against the NC Dinos in the top of the third inning of a Korea Baseball Organization regular season game at Changwon NC Park in Changwon, 400 kilometers southeast of Seoul. (Yonhap)

Tucker joined the Tigers as a midseason replacement in 2019 and had nine homers with 50 RBIs in 95 games. Then in his first full season in 2020, he exploded for 32 home runs, 113 RBIs and 100 runs scored, while batting .306/.398/.557. Tucker became the first Tiger to post at least 30 homers, 100 RBIs and 100 runs in the same season.

The 30-year-old said in a Tigers statement that he's been taking fielding drills at first base in his winter home of Tampa, Florida. Tucker was the Tigers' primary right fielder in 2020.

KBO clubs can each sign up to three foreign players, but no more than two pitchers. Before re-signing Tucker, the Tigers also brought back their top starter Aaron Brooks on a one-year, $1.2 million deal. Another American right-hander, Drew Gagnon, went 11-8 with a 4.34 ERA alongside Brooks this past season.

In this file photo from Oct. 28, 2020, Preston Tucker of the Kia Tigers (C) is mobbed by teammates after hitting a walkoff single against the KT Wiz in the bottom of the 10th inning of a Korea Baseball Organization regular season game at Gwangju-Kia Champions Field in Gwangju, 330 kilometers south of Seoul. (Yonhap)

jeeho@yna.co.kr
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