Korean closer reportedly flies to Detroit … on his way to St. Louis
The Tigers offseason has hit a quiet point with free-agent outfielders still stuck and arbitration coming up next week. That leaves an open space for even incremental news and rumors to create some buzz, which is what happened Saturday night when a report out of the Far East had Korean-born reliever Seung-Hwan Oh flying to Detroit.
Oh Seung Hwan just got on a plane bound for Detroit. His final dest might not be Det tho. Many possibilities, but def central. #MLB
— Daniel Kim 대니얼 김 (@DanielKimW) January 10, 2016
That raised speculation that the Tigers, who are still looking for relief help, could be making their first notable Far East free-agent signing since Taiwan-born lefty Fu-Te Ni in 2009. However, a source with knowledge of the Tigers’ plans said soon afterward that the team isn’t involved on Oh.
By Sunday afternoon, Oh’s likely destination was emerging. Another report out of South Korea suggested he’s likely headed to St. Louis, where he reportedly could undergo a physical and other medicals and become a Cardinal as soon as Monday.
The 33-year-old right-hander became a dominant closer in the Korean Baseball Organization, then took his game to Japan, closing for the Hanshin Tigers. His contract with Hanshin expired, so he’s a free agent, rather than being subject to Japan’s posting system.
So if Oh was flying to Detroit, he was simply connecting. On the bright side, even international free agents apparently like flying through Metro Airport.