Chan Ho Park could have gotten a job as middle reliever with any number of teams but has instead chosen to head to Japan.
The Korean agreed to a one-year deal with the Orix Buffaloes, and Park's 17 seasons in the majors may be coming to a close. Given he would have received minimal guaranteed dollars and likely will make a similar amount in Japan, this move actually makes sense. Park can pitch closer to home and in the country where his wife grew up and will likely do well against the lesser competition.
Park split 2010 between the Yankees and Pirates, falling flat on his face in New York and recovering as a Pirate. He finished with a 4.66 ERA over 63 2/3 innings and interestingly enough, posted his best strikeout-to-walk ratio since a four-inning stint in 1995.
UPDATE: Yep, Park got over $1 million to play for the Buffaloes as SI.com's Jon Heyman reports. Hard to imagine Park doing any better stateside.
-- Evan Brunell