Yankees Sign RHP Chan Ho Park

According to Thomas Harding of MLB.com, the Yankees have signed free agent reliever Chan Ho Park who most recently pitched against the Bombes for the Phillies in the World Series to a one-year $1.2 million contract. Incentives could make the deal worth an additional $300,000.

Apparently Park made the announcement at 1:00am eastern time at his fitness center, Park 61, in Seoul Korea. The Yankees have yet to make an announcement, but Harding’s story landed itself on Yankees.com giving it a level of authority even though the news broke in unorthodox fashion. It also leaves the question, when will Park report to spring training if he is making this announcement in Korea.

Park was labeled a bust after signing a five-year $65 million contract with the Texas Rangers in 2002 and only managing a 33-33 record with a 5.56 ERA and a 82 ERA+. In 2008 he signed with the Dodgers and was moved to the bullpen and had a strong season. In 95.1 innings that season he had a 3.40 ERA, a 1.395 WHIP and a 123 ERA+. Last season he was rather mediocre putting up a 4.43 ERA, a 1.404 WHIP, and a 96 ERA+ over 83.1 innings.

If this is true, and I won’t be 100 percent certain until the Yankees make an announcement, then this move doesn’t make a lot of sense. Unless of course they plan on trading Chad Gaudin and his $2.95 million salary. Then Park is just a replacement for him. Otherwise it seems like a waste of money for a part the Yankees don’t need in an offseason where the Yankees have repeatedly talked about sticking to a budget.

In a quick assessment of the Yankees bullpen it is unclear where Park fits in. They are likely to carry 6-7 relievers and after Mariano Rivera, Damaso Marte, one of either Phil Hughes or Joba Chamberlain, David Robertson, and Alfredo Aceves that leaves only one or two more spots. Park would be battling for that spot or spots with Gaudin, Sergio Mitre, Boone Logan, and Mark Melancon.

Assuming everyone stays healthy, I can’t see Park being a lock to beat those guys out for the job. What do you think?

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9 Responses to Yankees Sign RHP Chan Ho Park

  1. Ugh. I'm shaking my head over this signing.

  2. 2.52 ERA, 9.4 K/9, and 2.9 BB/9 in 50 relief innings and he has a .221 BA against Righties. Not a bad pick up. I'd rather have him than Mitre, IMHO

  3. Dan LaTorraca says:

    Wow, never thought I’d see Park in pinstripes. Wonder why Cashman felt the need to sign him? Perhaps the team wanted another experienced arm in the pen.

  4. You're right in saying that Park had a pretty good 2009 relieving, Robb. But how much faith should we put in that–and him? His 2008 relieving numbers were just decent–3-4, 3.84 ERA, 1.464 WHIP (which is too high for me), and 10 homers in 70 IP. While 0 homers relieving in '09 is an encouraging trend, as was his lower ERA, which Park do the Yankees get? '08, '09, or the routine punching bag of Texas and San Diego turning 37 in June? I'd rather not have Mitre either, but I'm not big on Mitre.

    I also have to admit that I've just seen Park get battered way too much to be comfortable with him in pinstripes. If he thrives, great, and I'll eat a platter of crow in his honor. But how he will adjust to a tougher AL very much concerns me. I don't like the signing much at all.

  5. She-Fan says:

    I'm with Jason. This signing has me scratching my head. Park is just another Brett Tomko as far as I'm concerned. Here today, gone tomorrow.

  6. Also, barring anything happening, like injuries, Park will likely make the team. Cashman went to ownership and begged for more cap room for him until his price dropped to $1.2 mil.

  7. Mark says:

    Why sign him? Unless they really dont think much of Melancon or already have a trade lined up for Mitre or Gaudin this doesnt make sense. Guess the next few days will give us the bigger picture.

  8. Lefty says:

    WOW! (if it’s legit.) Who saw this one coming? It sure realigns thinking on Mitre & Gaudin etc.. Is Cashman thinking about some sort of trade package including Mitre and/or Gaudin + someone else, and for what? There goes the claim that they have no more money to spend. For Park to jump into a tougher AL at almost 37 seems presumptuous, but if he does well, I guess it’s Crowquettes D’jour for me.

  9. This is definitely legit. Apparently Cashman has wanted Park all offseason and it wasn’t until his price dropped low enough that they were able to get him. Park also turned down $3.25 million from the Phillies and an offer from the Nationals. So apparently he wants to be a Yankee.