Cardinals Reportedly Closing in on Deal for Top Korean Closer

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Cardinals Reportedly Closing in on Deal for Top Korean Closer

Chicago Cubs

cardinals logoThe St. Louis Cardinals have had a relatively quiet offseason, adding Mike Leake on a long-term deal, and trading Jon Jay for Jedd Gyorko. Given the questions that persist in their rotation, the health of some key pieces, and some of the departing talent, it’s easy to argue that they need to make another notable move or two to keep themselves within the same “on-paper” range as they were last season (not to win 100 games, mind you – we’re just talking about true talent level).

I couldn’t tell you today whether this will wind up being a notable move or not, but it sounds like the Cardinals are close to making an addition in their bullpen.

Derrick Goold relays a Daniel Kim report that the Cardinals, pending a physical, have a deal with top Korean closer Seung-Hwan Oh. Robert Murray reports that the physical is already all squared away, and the deal is done.

If you remember anything about Oh from earlier in the offseason, it is probably his nickname: The Final Boss. He came up for much of his prime in the KBO in Korea, but has pitched the last two years in Japan’s NPB.

Oh, 33, is a true free agent, and it’s not clear how competitive teams were for his services (which is to say, I’m not sure how pricey the signing is at this point). When the Cubs signed closer Kyuji Fujikawa out of NPB, it cost them $9.5 million over two years, for whatever that comparable is worth.

Oh was absolutely dominant in his younger, KBO days, but he’s coming off the worst season of his career in 2015. I doubt he’s being viewed as a sure-thing, impact late-inning reliever at this point, but he might have that kind of upside in the short-term. According to Goold’s writeup, Oh is still throwing in the 93 to 95mph range.

Here’s hoping a well-timed, game-changing Cubs homer comes this season against him and the Cardinals so that we can simply say: “Oh.”

Or maybe “OH, BRYANT!” for just one of many plausible examples.

Author: Brett Taylor

Brett Taylor is the Editor and Lead Cubs Writer at Bleacher Nation, and you can find him on Twitter at @BleacherNation and @Brett_A_Taylor.