A long winter for Atlanta Braves minor leaguer Park Hoy-jun has just gotten longer, as the South Korean utility player did not earn an invitation to the Braves' spring training.
The Braves announced a list of 26 non-roster invitees to their big league camp on Wednesday, with 11 pitchers, four catchers, six infielders and five outfielders set to battle those on the 40-man roster for major league jobs.
Park was not invited to camp. He joined the Braves organization in December in a trade from the Boston Red Sox, who had earlier traded for the 26-year-old from the Pittsburgh Pirates.
The Braves later designated Park for assignment, or DFA'd him in baseball parlance, and made him available on the waiver wire for any takers. After Park cleared waivers, with no one taking a flier on him, the Braves sent Park outright to their Triple-A affiliate in Gwinnett, Georgia,
Park split the 2022 season between the majors and the minors for the Pirates, but the Pirates first DFA'd him on Nov. 22. He was traded to the Red Sox the following day.
Then the Red Sox DFA'd him on Dec. 13 and sent him to the Braves three days later in exchange for a player to be named later.
The Braves had been seeking infield depth and Park seemed to have been just the type of a versatile player they needed. Instead, the Braves did what the Pirates and the Red Sox had done earlier and DFA'd him, too.
That uncertainty cost Park a chance to play for South Korea at the World Baseball Classic in March. In announcing the country's 30-man roster in January, Cho Bum-hyun, technical director for the national team, said he left Park off the team because of his murky future and decided to go with other options available in the Korea Baseball Organization.
Park signed with the New York Yankees in 2014 out of a Korean high school and made his big league debut with the team in July 2021.
He was dealt to the Pirates later that same month. In 2022, he appeared in 23 big league games across four stints with the Pirates, while spending the rest of the time in the minors.
Park had a .216/.276/.373 line with two home runs and six RBIs in those 23 games. The versatile player appeared at second base, third base, shortstop and right field in 2022. (Yonhap)