It snowed in the Greater St. Louis area on Saturday and the high temperature on Sunday was in the teens. So while it didn't really look or feel like baseball season outside, the Cardinals made a move which should impact the big-league club in 2016.
Cardinals plan to sign Seung-hwan Oh
- As first reported by Daniel Kim, the St. Louis Cardinals appear to have signed international free agent Oh Seung-hwan. Oh, 33, was a relief pitcher for the Samsung Lions in his native South Korea from 2005 through 2013 and pitched in 2014 and 2015 for the Hanshin Tigers in Nippon Professional Baseball, the top baseball league in Japan. Although nothing has been made official, Oh made $8.3 million total over the last two seasons with the Hanshin Tigers. And while he is not likely to supplant Trevor Rosenthal as the closer for the Cardinals, he is expected to have a high-leverage role within the Cardinals bullpen, perhaps taking the right-handed setup role that Jordan Walden was expected to have before he suffered injuries last year.
- In the story linked above, Craig included a video of Oh Seung-hwan pitching. Here is another.
So that's exciting, right? Based on my highly uneducated eye test, he does look like he could be a good one. Asian pitchers are often stereotyped (both positively and negatively, it depends on whom you ask) for having unique deliveries, but Oh's is fairly conventional. He may not be Aroldis Chapman, but his pitches do appear to have velocity, and he has a slider, which is nice.
Although I was initially concerned to read "suspended for gambling" in references to the newest Cardinals signing, I was relieved to read that his suspension appears to have been for going to a casino and not for, say, gambling on baseball. So perhaps we aren't looking at a Pete Rose situation and instead are looking at the greatest basketball player of his generation.
But anyway, we may have some delays on making the signing official. Snow, man.
- While the red baron had already written a few posts detailing the top prospects in the Cardinals system, RB and Craig compiled some information about some prospects who just missed the top 21 prospects list. I'm not quite sure just how RB learned so much about such obscure minor league baseball players, but it's appreciated and assuring to realize just how much depth the Cardinals, while not considered as deep as they were just a few years ago, still have.