The Cardinals are expected to sign Korean free agent Seung-Hwan Oh, to a two-year deal with a club option that can make the contract worth $11 million. Oh is in St. Louis for a physical scheduled on Monday. Oh did not cost the Cardinals a posting fee because he was a free agent.
Oh’s numbers are incredible. Over 11 seasons in Korea and Japan, spanning 498 games, he has a career 1.81 ERA, 10.7 strikeouts per nine and 646 1/3 innings. In 2013, after nine seasons in Korea, Oh played with the Hanshin Tigers of Japan’s Nippon Professional Baseball and had a 2.73 ERA and 8.6 K/9 in 2015.
The knock, or at least the question mark, is Korean hitters are not on the same level of major leaguers. While there might be a learning curve, the advantage that most pitchers have when they come from the Pacific leagues is that MLB hitter are unfamiliar with their arsenal of pitches and have limited scouting.
Oh will most likely serve as an 8th inning setup man for Trevor Rosenthal.