The Minnesota Twins and Korea's Byung-Ho Park agreed to a four-year, $12 million contract Tuesday afternoon, CBS Sports MLB Insider Jon Heyman reports. Their total commitment for Park is $24.85 million, taking into consideration the posting fee of $12.85 million the Twins paid Park's team in the KBO, the Nexen Heroes, after winning a blind auction against other MLB clubs.
Known for his home-run and bat-flip abilities with Nexen, Park belted 53 homers and slugged .714 in 2015, though Twins fans should temper their expectations because the KBO is notoriously friendly for hitters. Fans also should not expect Park to flip his bat anymore on long balls; He says the act is retired for safety purposes.
As the Twins roster currently is constituted, Park figures to be the everyday designated hitter in 2016. Even though Albert Belle-type numbers won't happen (probably), the success enjoyed with the Pirates by Park's Korean teammate, Jung-Ho Kang, is a strong indicator that he'll be able to hack it over here in the majors. Kang was the first hitter from the KBO to make it in the majors. Hyun-Jin Ryu of the Dodgers pitched in the KBO.
Park has been in the U.S. since Sunday night, and his traveling here was a strong indicator that an agreement was close. Both sides had until Dec. 8 to close the deal, otherwise Minnesota's posting fee would have been refunded, and Park would have been back with the Heroes in '16.