Kia Tigers' new pitcher Ronnie Williams poses for a photo after signing a one-year contract with the Korea Baseball Organization club, in this photo provided by the Tigers on Monday. (Kia Tigers)
The Kia Tigers announced their signings of two new foreign players on Monday, adding a former major league outfielder and a career minor league pitcher to their roster.
The Korea Baseball Organization (KBO) club inked outfielder Socrates Brito to a one-year contract at $900,000. The 29-year-old from the Dominican Republic will get $500,000 in salary, $100,000 in signing bonus and up to $300,000 in incentives.
Ronnie Williams, a 25-year-old right-hander from Miami, agreed to a one-year deal at $750,000. He will earn $300,000 in salary, $100,000 in signing bonus and up to $350,000 in incentives.
Brito has appeared in 99 major league games, most recently 17 games with the Toronto Blue Jays in 2019. He had a .179/.216/.309 line with five home runs and 18 RBIs in the bigs.
For the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders, the Triple-A affiliate for the New York Yankees, Brito put up a .251/.315/.376 line with nine homers, 53 RBIs and 23 steals in 107 games this year.
The Tigers said Brito is a gap hitter who can run the bases and cover a lot of ground in the outfield.
Williams has yet to reach the majors after being drafted in the second round by the St. Louis Cardinals in 2014. He split his 2021 season between Double-A and Triple-A in the San Francisco Giants system.
In 29 appearances combined, including five starts, Williams went 6-4 with a 2.77 ERA in 78 innings. He struck out 69, walked 36 and hit 11 others.
The Tigers noted that Williams is a fast-developing young pitcher with a huge upside and that he can touch 155 kilometers per hour (96.3 miles per hour) with his fastball.
The Tigers added that both players are scheduled to arrive in South Korea in late January for spring training.
KBO teams can sign up to three foreign players but no more than two pitchers. Clubs typically go with two starting pitchers and one position player from overseas, and the Tigers will likely add a foreign pitcher during the offseason.
As of Monday, five out of 10 teams in the KBO have filled their foreign player quota for 2022. (Yonhap)