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KBO's Bears acquire new pitcher, re-sign DH from Cuba

All News 17:28 December 23, 2020

By Yoo Jee-ho

SEOUL, Dec. 23 (Yonhap) -- The South Korean baseball club Doosan Bears said Wednesday they have acquired a new pitcher from Cuba, while retaining their designated hitter, Jose Miguel Fernandez, from the same country for a third season.

According to the Korea Baseball Organization (KBO) team, the left-hander Ariel Miranda signed a one-year deal worth up to US$800,000. He will earn $550,000 in guarantee salary, $150,000 in signing bonus and up to $100,000 in incentives.

The 31-year-old journeyman pitched in 44 games for the Baltimore Orioles and the Seattle Mariners from 2016 to 2018. He then joined the Fukuoka SoftBank Hawks in Japan in July 2018, and pitched for them until 2019. Miranda spent the 2020 season in Taiwan with the CTBC Brothers.

In this Getty Images file photo from Aug. 19, 2017, Ariel Miranda of the Seattle Mariners pitches against the Tampa Bay Rays in the bottom of the first inning of a Major League Baseball regular season game at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Florida. (Yonhap)

Miranda went 10-8 with a 3.80 ERA in 25 starts for the Brothers, along with 170 strikeouts in 156 1/3 innings.

The Bears said they liked Miranda's high release point for his fastballs, and noted that he averaged 147 kilometers per hour on that pitch in Taiwan this year. That velocity would have put Miranda in the top five among KBO starters in 2020.

The Bears said Miranda will mix in a slider, a forkball, a curveball and a changeup.

Also on Wednesday, the Bears retained their Cuban hitter Fernandez on a new one-year deal worth $1.1 million -- $600,000 in salary, $200,000 in signing bonus and $30,000 in incentives.

Fernandez led the KBO in hits in each of his first two years in the league, with 197 in 2019 and 199 in 2020. He has yet to miss a game in the KBO.

"He's a valuable part of our team who has played every game in two straight seasons," the Bears said, adding that Fernandez and Miranda are close friends. They competed against each other in the Cuban National Series from 2007 to 2014.

The Bears lost both of their foreign pitchers from the 2020 season, as Chris Flexen signed with the Mariners and Raul Alcantara joined the Hanshin Tigers in Japan. The Bears are also nearing a deal with the Toronto Blue Jays pitcher Walker Lockett.

KBO clubs can sign up to three foreign players but no more than two pitchers.

In this file photo from Nov. 20, 2020, Jose Miguel Fernandez of the Doosan Bears tosses his bat after hitting a solo home run against the NC Dinos in the bottom of the second inning of Game 3 of the Korean Series at Gocheok Sky Dome in Seoul. (Yonhap)

jeeho@yna.co.kr
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