According to Ben Nicholson-Smith, the Blue Jays have added right-handed reliever Seung-hwan Oh on a one-year contract worth $2 million guaranteed.
#BlueJays' deal with Seung-hwan Oh will guarantee him $2 million. Deal will include 2019 vesting option— Ben Nicholson-Smith (@bnicholsonsmith) February 26, 2018
Oh has pitched two seasons in the Major Leagues, both with the St. Louis Cardinals. Before that, the 35-year-old pitched his entire career in Korea and Japan and is one of the KBO’s most decorated closers in history. According to Keegan Matheson, he was referred to as “The Final Boss” which is extremely bad ass.
In 2016, Oh’s rookie season in North America, he finished sixth in Rookie of the Year voting due to a strong season in which he posted a 1.92 ERA in 79 2/3 innings. He also struck out 11.6 batters per nine while walking just 2.0 per nine. He didn’t have as good of a time in 2017, though, posting a 4.10 ERA and seeing his strikeouts per nine drop to 8.3.
Here’s what Brooks Baseball has to say about Oh:
His fourseam fastball generates a high number of swings & misses compared to other pitchers’ fourseamers, has essentially average velo and results in somewhat more flyballs compared to other pitchers’ fourseamers. His slider results in more flyballs compared to other pitchers’ sliders, has less than expected depth and has primarily 12-6 movement. His change has a lot of backspin and has slight armside fade. His curve has primarily 12-6 movement and results in somewhat more flyballs compared to other pitchers’ curves.
I mean, sure, why not? The more depth the merrier when it comes to pitching. He’s only making $2 million guaranteed so there’s virtually zero downside here. Even in 2017 when he struggled, Oh is a perfectly adequate depth arm, but if he could replicate his 2016 success, the Jays would have a very solid back-of-the-pen arm.
This adds another option for Toronto to work with when putting together their bullpen. Roberto Osuna is the obvious one in the closer role, then there’s Danny Barnes, Ryan Tepera, and Aaron Loup as virtual locks, Carlos Ramirez, Matt Dermody, and Tim Mayza as youngsters who impressed last year, and a wealth of veterans like John Axford, Craig Breslow, and Al Albuquerque who could earn spots. Joe Biagini could also find his way back there, too.
Oh boy! Oh man! I love late-night signings!
One more thing that’s interesting about this is the vesting option for the following season. This looks to be a nice bargain deal for the Jays, especially considering what we’ve seen decent relievers go for in the past, so maybe they’re looking to capitalize on this winter’s soft market for another potential year of value.
Regardless, this looks like a likeable move. #RaiseTheFloor.