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Korean pitcher Hyeon-jong Yang agrees to minor league deal with Texas Rangers



Texas – Long intrigued by South Korean left-hander Hyeon-jong Yang, the Rangers finally landed him Friday, agreeing to a minor league deal that gives the 32-year-old a shot at the Rangers rotation.

Yang has spent the last 14 seasons pitching for the KBO’s Kia Tigers and was the league’s Pitcher of the Year for 2017. He had an opportunity to take a multiyear extension for guaranteed money, but instead accepted the challenge to transition to the majors. According to a source, he will receive $1.3 million if he pitches in the majors all season with the chance at another $500,000 in incentives.

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The Rangers had bid on Yang when Kia posted him after the 2014 season, but Kia rejected the amount of the bid and retained the pitcher.

“He’s a proven winner, not only for Kia in the KBO, but in competing on big stages in international competition,” Rangers assistant general manager Josh Boyd said. “He’s a durable strike-thrower with great feel for executing four pitches. He’s a highly respected teammate, and he’s hungry to prove himself and fulfill his goal of continuing his success in the Major Leagues.”

Yang was 11-10 with a 4.70 ERA in 172 innings in 2020. He ranked seventh in the KBO in innings pitched in 2020. It was the 11th highest innings total for any professional pitcher in the world.