By Yoo Jee-ho
SEOUL, Dec. 21 (Yonhap) -- The NC Dinos filled their foreign player quota for the 2022 Korea Baseball Organization (KBO) season Tuesday, signing a new outfielder while retaining two starting pitchers.
The Dinos announced they have acquired former major league outfielder Nick Martini on a one-year deal worth up to US$800,000. Martini, who will replace Aaron Altherr in the lineup, will make $440,000 in salary, $110,000 in signing bonus and up to $250,000 in incentives.
Martini, 31, has 112 big league games to his credit, most recently 25 games with the Chicago Cubs this year. A seventh-round draft choice by the St. Louis Cardinals in 2011, Martini made his major league debut for the Oakland Athletics in 2018. He split the 2019 season between the A's and the San Diego Padres.
He batted .270/.369/.369 with two homers and 30 RBIs in the majors.
In Triple-A this year, Martini put up a .267/.387/.444 line with 11 homers and 40 RBIs in 78 games.
Martini will have big shoes to fill. Altherr had 63 home runs, 192 RBIs and 42 steals in his two KBO seasons, and is now said to be eyeing a return to the majors. The Dinos said they've had their eyes on Martini for a few years, and he should add some stability to their defense.
In their rotation, the Dinos will have the one-two punch of Drew Rucinski and Wes Parsons for the second straight season.
Rucinski, who has been with the Dinos since 2019, signed for $2 million ($1.6 million in salary, $300,000 in signing bonus and $100,000 in incentives), tying for the second-largest contract signed by a foreign player in the KBO. He led the Dinos with 15 wins, 3.17 ERA and 177 strikeouts in 178 2/3 innings, while ranking in the top 10 in the league in all four categories.
Parsons was 4-8 but had a solid 3.72 ERA in 133 innings with 148 strikeouts in 2021, his first season in the KBO. He will make up to $650,000 this year ($440,000 in salary, $110,000 in signing bonus and $100,000 in incentives).
The Dinos said the two starters have proven themselves on and off the field with their performance and work ethic, and that they had little trouble re-signing them.
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