We knew that a signing could be around the corner, but it's already a done deal: the Minnesota Twins have signed Byung Ho Park to a four-year, $12 million dollar contract. Including the $12.85 million posting fee, Minnesota has committed just $24.85 million to a player considered to be the best hitter available on the international market this winter.
The Twins also hold a $6.5 million option for a fifth year. This four-year contract means Park is under team control through his age-32 season. His option would be for his age-33 year in 2020. Spreading out the posting fee over the guaranteed four years to get an AAV for total spend, Minnesota will pay roughly $6.21 million per season for Park's services.
But in terms of payroll figures, this is how the contract looks.
|Salary||$2.75 MM||$2.75 MM||$3.0 MM||$3.0 MM||$6.5 MM*|
* denotes $500,000 buyout of fifth year option
Tim Dierkes and MLB Trade Rumors are typically pretty on point when it comes to predicting contracts. That wasn't the case this time, as he projected a $10 million posting fee and a five-year, $40 million dollar deal for a $50 million commitment. All told Minnesota has paid half that amount, with the fifth year not guaranteed.
Park's arrival will put pressure on young sluggers like Oswaldo Arcia and Kennys Vargas, who would have been competing for those designated hitter plate appearances in spring training. Now more than ever, their futures in Minnesota are in doubt.
In parts of 11 seasons in the KBO, Park hit .281/.387/.564. Over his last three seasons he's posted OPS marks of 1.039, 1.119, and 1.150. His last four years have seen him blast 173 home runs. While that success won't translate directly to Major League Baseball, there's a reason so many teams were in competition with the Twins to attain Park's services: they thought his bat would make them better. For the price, that's not a bad risk to take.