December 2, 2015

Twins strike deal with Korean slugger Byung Ho Park

Well, that was fast.

Two days after Korean slugger Byung Ho Park arrived in Minnesota, the Twins and Park have a deal, with Park agreeing to a four-year, $12 million contract, with a club option for 2020, according to MLB.com.

All Park has to do now is live up to his end of the bargain and mash.

Will he hit 53 home runs for the Twins in 2016 as he did for the Nexen Heroes in South Korea last season? Probably not. But many are saying if Park can produce numbers similar to those posted by Jung Ho Kang of the Pittsburgh Pirates his transition to the Major Leagues will be a success.

Kang, in his rookie season with the Bucs, hit .287 with 24 doubles, 15 homers and 58 RBIs. And he did that after a slow start. Kang, who also used to play for Nexen, hit 40 home runs for the club in 2014.

After the Twins came to terms with Park, beat writers covering the Twins took to Twitter to break down Park’s contract:

Park will earn $2.75 million in 2016 & 2017, then $3 million in 2018 & 2019, with team option for $6.5 million in 2020 ($.5 million buyout).

— Phil Miller (@MillerStrib) December 1, 2015

Source: Park’s deal with #MNTwins does NOT include a no-trade provision.

— Mike Berardino (@MikeBerardino) December 1, 2015

Twins’ total investment in Park comes to $24.8 million, counting posting fee to Nexen. Pirates paid $11 in salary, $5 million fee for Kang.

— Phil Miller (@MillerStrib) December 1, 2015

Meanwhile, the Twins’ deal with Park looks microscopic after the Boston Red Sox went to crazy town on Tuesday and announced a seven-year, $217 million contract with 30-year-old pitcher David Price, previously with the Toronto Blue Jays.

Price’s deal, according to Jeff Passan of Yahoo! Sports, is $2 million richer than pitcher Clayton Kershaw’s contract, and at $31 million a year, ties him with infielder Miguel Cabrera of the Detroit Tigers for the most money per year in baseball.

Over his career, Price is 104-56 with an ERA of 3.09. The numbers are impressive, but all that money for a 30-year-old pitcher?

Seems too rich to me.

Look, anyone can make $217 million. You just have to figure out how to stay alive for 974 years.

— Red (@SurvivingGrady) December 1, 2015

COMMENTS

Hi, I’m Rolf Boone and I love the Twins.

I became a fan of the Minnesota Twins after a friendly wager in the early 1980s. I survived Ron Davis, the meltdown in Cleveland, Phil Bradley at the Kingdome and then marveled at a rising generation of stars and two World Series wins in 1987 and 1991. Brad Radke made the 1990s bearable, while Kirby Puckett’s eye injury, exit from the game and eventual death made it almost too much to bear. The new century ushered in more talent — Joe Mauer, Johan Santana, Joe Nathan, Torii Hunter, Justin Morneau — and consecutive seasons of playoff baseball, followed by consecutive seasons of losing baseball. A winning season returned in 2015. So here we are. Go Twins.