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KBO club Bears acquire ex-MLB pitcher Walker Lockett

All News 16:37 January 08, 2021

By Yoo Jee-ho

SEOUL, Jan. 8 (Yonhap) -- The South Korean baseball club Doosan Bears announced their signing of former big league pitcher Walker Lockett on Friday.

The Korea Baseball Organization (KBO) club said Lockett, 26, has signed a one-year deal worth US$1 million, the maximum amount allowed for all first-year foreign players in the league.

A fourth round draft pick by the San Diego Padres in 2012, the right-hander made his big league debut with the Padres in 2018 and later pitched for the New York Mets and the Seattle Mariners.

In this Getty Images file photo from Aug. 14, 2020, Walker Lockett of the New York Mets pitches against the Philadelphia Phillies during the bottom of the first inning of a Major League Baseball regular season game at Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia. (Yonhap)

He was selected by the Toronto Blue Jays off the waiver wire last month and was placed on their 40-man roster, before the Bears signed him.

Lockett had been linked to the Bears for weeks and he even added the club's name to the profile on his social media page earlier this week.

Lockett had a 2-4 record with a 7.67 ERA in 20 big league games.

According to pitch tracking data on Baseball Savant, Lockett threw four-seam fastball, sinker, curve, changeup and cutter last year.

Lockett relied mostly on his hard sinker, with an average velocity of 93.3 miles per hour (150.2 kilometers per hour), as he threw it 32.6 percent of the time. He only threw his four-seamer 4.3 percent of the time, and averaged 92.8 miles per hour, which would have ranked him fourth among KBO pitchers in 2020.

The Bears said Lockett is an aggressive pitcher who induces a lot of groundballs, and added he will be backed up by the team's sound infield defense.

The Bears have now filled their foreign player spots, having earlier signed left-hander Ariel Miranda and retained designated hitter Jose Miguel Fernandez.

KBO clubs can sign up to three foreign players each but no more than two pitchers. The Bears' move leaves the NC Dinos and the Kiwoom Heroes as the only clubs that haven't completed foreign player puzzles.

In this Getty Images file photo from Sept. 26, 2020, Walker Lockett of the Seattle Mariners (L) celebrates with his catcher Joseph Odom after a 12-3 victory over the Oakland Athletics in a Major League Baseball regular season game at RingCentral Coliseum in Oakland. (Yonhap)

jeeho@yna.co.kr
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