In this Getty Images file photo from May 15, 2021, Will Craig of the Pittsburgh Pirates reacts after striking out against the San Francisco Giants in the bottom of the seventh inning of a Major League Baseball regular season game at PNC Park in Pittsburgh. (Yonhap)
The South Korean baseball club Kiwoom Heroes announced Tuesday they've signed former major leaguer Will Craig.
Craig will make $371,000 for the rest of the Korea Baseball Organization (KBO) season as a replacement for David Freitas, who was released on June 23, in the Heroes' lineup.
Craig, 26, was a first round draft choice by the Pittsburgh Pirates in 2016 out of Wake Forest University. He appeared in just 20 major league games over the past two years, including 18 this year. He batted .203/.261/.281 in those 20 games with a home run and three RBIs.
In 33 Triple-A games this year, Craig batted .287/.367/.549 with eight homers and 23 RBIs. He only played first base in the majors but has handled third base and right field in the minors.
The Heroes said they expect power production from the 190-centimeter, 106-kilogram player, and added Craig should also be able to flash his on-base skills in the KBO.
The Heroes said they have spoken to Craig about their need for outfield depth, and the player responded by devoting extra time to working out on the field.
Craig will travel to South Korea as soon as his work permit is issued, and will serve his mandatory 14-day quarantine before reporting to his new club.
The KBO suspended the regular season on Monday in light of five COVID-19 cases involving two clubs. All games scheduled for this week have been pushed back to a later date. Then the league will go on an Olympic break from next Monday to Aug. 9.
Depending on how quickly he gets his work visa, Craig may be able to join the Heroes without missing that many games.
KBO clubs can sign up to three foreign players, with a maximum of two pitchers. Teams can replace no more than two of them within a season, and the Heroes have already used up their two chances. Before waiving Freitas last month, they cut ties with starter Josh A. Smith in April and reunited with their former ace Jake Brigham. (Yonhap)