Lotte Giants bring back one American pitcher, sign new one for 2019

December 13, 2018

SEOUL, Dec. 13 (Yonhap) — South Korean baseball club Lotte Giants announced Thursday they’ll bring back left-hander Brooks Raley for his fifth season, while adding former big league right-hander Jake Thompson to their rotation.

The Korea Baseball Organization (KBO) team will pay Raley US$1.17 million in 2019, the same amount as this past season.

In this file photo from Sept. 16, 2018, Brooks Raley of the Lotte Giants pitches against the Nexen Heroes in a Korea Baseball Organization regular season game at Sajik Stadium in Busan, 450 kilometers southeast of Seoul. (Yonhap)In this file photo from Sept. 16, 2018, Brooks Raley of the Lotte Giants pitches against the Nexen Heroes in a Korea Baseball Organization regular season game at Sajik Stadium in Busan, 450 kilometers southeast of Seoul. (Yonhap
In 30 starts, Raley went 11-13 with a 4.74 ERA. He has made at least 30 starts in each of his first four seasons with the Giants, and has compiled a 43-39 record and a 4.19 ERA.

Raley, 30, is the first foreign pitcher to play in five straight years for the Giants.

Thompson agreed to a one-year deal worth $900,000. Starting this offseason, the KBO has instituted a salary cap of $1 million on first-year foreign players. It doesn’t apply to returning players like Raley.

Thompson, 24, is a former second round pick by the Detroit Tigers. He made his big league debut with the Philadelphia Philies in 2016, and pitched in 30 games for them over the last three seaspons, with a record of 7-8 and a 4.87 ERA.

He threw in the Dominican Winter League recently and went 2-1 with a 1.93 ERA in six starts for the Leones del Escogido.

KBO clubs are each permitted a maximum two foreign pitchers and one foreign position player. The Giants have parted ways with their American second baseman Andy Burns and are looking for a new bat.

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