Having been traded over the weekend for the second time this winter, South Korean utility player Park Hoy-jun would like nothing more than some stability the rest of this offseason.
Park's new home, for the time being, is Atlanta, after the Braves acquired him in a trade with the Boston Red Sox in exchange for a player to be named and cash considerations on Friday (US time).
This has been a tumultuous winter for the 26-year-old. First, he was designated for assignment by the Pittsburgh Pirates and removed from their 40-man roster on Nov. 22. If a player is DFA'd, in baseball parlance, he can be traded or placed on irrevocable waivers within seven days. And if the player clears waivers -- meaning, if no team picks that player from waivers -- then the player may be sent outright to the minors or released.
The Red Sox came to the rescue, trading for Park in exchange for pitcher Inmer Lobo. However, before Park even appeared in a game for them, the Red Sox DFA'd him last Tuesday. They had to make room for their newly acquired reliever Kenley Jansen on their 40-man roster.
Then the Braves, looking to bolster infield depth, came calling.
Park appeared in 23 games for the Pirates this year, while bouncing between the majors and the minors. He brings very little to the table offensively, as attested by a .216/.276/.373 line with two home runs and six RBIs for the Pirates in 2022. In 89 games at Triple-A, Park had 10 homers and 37 RBIs, along with a .225/.332/.354 line.
On the other hand, Park can play all over the field. For the Pirates this year, Park appeared at second base, third base, shortstop and right field. In Triple-A this year, he also played three games in left field in addition to those four positions. Park has previously handled center field in the minors, meaning he has played every non-pitching position except catcher and first base.
With their All-Star and Gold Glove-winning shortstop Dansby Swanson gone in free agency, the Braves are looking for an external solution for the starting shortstop position, while they have some internal options for the backup spot.
Orlando Arcia, once an everyday shortstop for the Milwaukee Brewers, mostly played second base in 2022 but could have an inside track to the backup job.
Park and Ehire Adrianza, who first joined the Braves in a trade in August and then signed a minor league deal as a free agent with the same team on Friday, are also expected to be in that competition. Adrianza's deal includes an invitation to spring training. (Yonhap).