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Lim signs with KBO’s Samsung

SEOUL/GYEONGSAN (Yonhap) ― Free agent right-hander Lim Chang-yong rejoined his former South Korean club Samsung Lions on Wednesday, only days after getting released by the Chicago Cubs, officials here said.

The Lions said Lim, 37, agreed to a one-year deal worth 500 million won ($465,000) after holding talks at the team’s minor league training ground in Gyeongsan, North Gyeongsang Province, about 330 kilometers southeast of Seoul.

The Korea Baseball Organization club and the player have agreed not to disclose further details about Lim’s additional options.

Lim, who pitched for the Lions from 1999 to 2007, was cut loose by the Cubs on Monday, local time, two days after he was optioned to the Cubs’ Triple-A affiliate in Iowa.

He came back to South Korea late Tuesday afternoon. The Lions retained rights to Lim if the player chose to extend his career in his native land, and Lim’s arrival here fueled speculation that his return to the Lions was imminent.

“I feel like I’ve finally come home,” Lim said. “I will give everything I have to the club.”

The right-hander with a sidearm delivery signed with the Cubs in December 2012 and made his Major League Baseball debut last September, after a call-up from the minors. He had Tommy John surgery to repair a torn ligament in his pitching elbow in July 2012 and spent the first half of 2013 in rehab, before making his first minor league appearance in July.

Lim appeared in six games for the Cubs, posting a 5.40 ERA in five innings, with no win-loss record. He struck out five and walked seven.

He was non-tendered by the Cubs in December but earned an invitation to spring training. In four preseason games, Lim threw four innings and gave up two earned runs on two hits and two walks for a 4.50 ERA.

Lim began his KBO career in 1995 with the Haitai (now Kia) Tigers and played for the Lions from 1999 to 2007.

He was not a free agent when he left Samsung in 2007 to sign with the Yakult Swallows in Japan’s Nippon Professional Baseball.

The Lions allowed the move on the condition that Lim could only sign with them if he wanted to return to the KBO.