Cleveland Indians: Tribe Lose on Bid to Negotiate With Korean Slugger Park
Indians place bid on Korean slugger, come up short on offer/h]
The Cleveland Indians didn’t win on the blind bid they put in to negotiate with Korean slugger Byung-ho Park, but the fact they even put a bid in means they’re making the effort. The winning bid was said to be $12.85 million, per reports. So we’ll never know just how aggressive an offer that the Indians might have made, only that they were not the winning bid.
Park, a 6-foot-1, 194-pound first baseman hit 53 home runs while knocking in 146 runs in 140 games in the KBO last season for the Nexus Heroes. Often the KBO is thought to have inflated numbers for hitters, but the most recent member of the Heroes to make his way to the MLB–Jung Ho Kang–more than earned his check for the Pittsburgh Pirates this season before being lost to injury.
Park is a first baseman for the Heroes, and you could read more than you should into this for Carlos Santana. Or maybe you should read into this EXACTLY what you’re thinking. The bid should put Santana on notice.
It was a difficult season to watch for Santana, who seemed to find his way to the plate with men on, and then head right back to the dugout with runners still on base. His ISO -Isolated power (SLG-AVG)- was his worst since his minor league days with a .164, and his wRC+ was just 110. For the old-school fans, his .231 average matched last years, while his dip in power was noticeable (27 to 19).
The hope was that putting Santana at first and making that his primary position in the field–that he would make strides at the plate without the worry of defense bogging him down. Clearly that plan failed as he made little to no progress at the plate–this after he was expected to be a key player in the Tribe offense.
The problem is that the Indians might just be a few pieces away from contending, and the window is small. They can’t replace everyone that struggled, and likely hoped they could score an established replacement for Santana. First and third base are questions for the Indians, and Carlos Carrasco and Danny Salazar‘s names keep coming up. Can the Tribe avoid having to move one of them AND add the pieces they need? I don’t think it’s possible with the teams budget.