Tommy Joseph Is Out; Carlos Peguero Is In

The KBO’s LG Twins put former Philly and SF Giants’ prospect Tommy Joseph on waivers today as a prelude this release and announced the signing of former marginal MLBer and brief NPB star Carlos Peguero, who had been playing in the Mexican League this season.  Not a big deal as far as the baseball world goes, but it interests me in terms of what it says about what KBO teams are thinking.

Joseph hadn’t been terrible in the KBO.  He hit nine home runs in 55 KBO games this season, and his .761 OPS wasn’t terrible this year what with the KBO having introduced less resilient baseballs that cut deep into offensive production.  However, he missed 33 games so far this year, mostly due to back problems; and he was highly paid by KBO standards, having inked a deal that gave him a $300,000 signing bonus and a $700,000 salary.  That’s about as much as first year foreign players can expect to make in the KBO now that a $1M salary cap for first-year foreigners has been imposed.

Peguero will earn $150,000 for the rest of the way with an additional $30,000 in performance incentives.  By my rough calculation, this means the Twins will save between $90,000 and $120,000 by replacing Joseph with Peguero.  That’s not much when you consider that Joseph hadn’t been playing badly, and the odds aren’t great that Peguero will play significantly better.  After only 22 Mexican League games, Peguero had been slashing only .259/.362/.481, which isn’t impressive in what has been an extreme hitters’ league this summer.

The Twins are currently in 4th place in the KBO.  The top five teams make the playoffs and then play a weird system where the 5th place and 4th place teams play, the winner plays the 3rd place team, the second winner plays the 2nd place team and the third winner plays the 1st place team.

The Twins are 6.5 games up on the 5th place NC Dinos and eight games up on the 6th place KT Wiz.  The Twins are three and 3.5 back of the 3rd and 2nd place teams.  In short, the Twins could move up to 2nd or 3rd place with improved performance from their lone foreign position player, but they likely make the post-season with or without the move.

In sum, the move seems to be based primarily on saving $90,000 to $120,000 this season, which sure isn’t much for a play-off bound team, even in the KBO.  It does suggest, perhaps, that KBO team finances aren’t all that strong.

Explore posts in the same categories: Baseball Abroad, KBO, NPB, Philadelphia Phillies, San Francisco Giants

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