A precipitation for a breakout. The Samsung Lions are preparing to part ways with foreign pitcher Albert Suarez (34).
Samsung is reportedly planning to place Suarez, who is currently sidelined with an injury, on waivers and request the transfer of foreign pitcher Taylor Widener (29), who was placed on waivers by the NC Dinos to the KBO on the 4th. No official announcement has been made by the club.
When asked about the news before their game against the Doosan Bears in Jamsil on the 9th, a Samsung representative said, “It is true that applying for the transfer of Widener is one of the options, but nothing has been decided yet. Once the decision to transfer Widner is made, it will also be decided whether Suarez’s waiver will be announced.”
Speaking to reporters before the news broke, Samsung coach Park Jin-man said of Suarez’s absence, “We’ll have to wait and see how the game goes tomorrow (10th). We’ll have to wait until the game tomorrow.”
According to Article 95 of the KBO’s rules, a club that wishes to assume the contract of a player on waivers must apply to the commissioner for the assignment of the player’s contract within seven days from the date the commissioner announces the waiver. Since Widener was placed on waivers on the 4th, the team has 10 days to complete the transfer.
If the deadline passes, the team can sign Widener, but he will not be able to take the mound this year. Article 99 of the KBO Rules states, “A waiver player who has not filed a waiver request shall become a free agent on the day after the seventh day from the date of the waiver announcement by the commissioner. However, no team may enter into a contract with the player for that year.
In fact, a waiver is not an option for teams aiming for the top five. According to Article 94 of the KBO Rules, “Waiver Disclosure,” players acquired on waiver after 1 August are ineligible for the postseason. NC had already parted ways with Widener on the 22nd of last month, but didn’t claim him off waivers until after August as they prepared to sign new foreign pitcher Tanner Tully. Regardless of their intentions, they left no room for a top-five team to consider bolstering their mound with Widener.
Samsung re-signed Suarez this year for a total of $1.3 million. This is a large sum of money that ranks among the highest for a foreign pitcher in the KBO. While Suarez only won six games (eight losses) in 30 appearances last year in his first Samsung uniform, he put up stellar numbers of 173⅔ innings pitched, a 2.49 ERA, and 159 strikeouts. That’s what led to his re-signing.
This year, he was 4-7 with a 3.92 ERA in 19 starts, 108 innings pitched, and a 3.92 ERA alongside David Buchanan, 34, before his calf injury. However, his career came to an abrupt end when he was diagnosed with a 12cm tear in his left calf muscle on the 7th. After a four-week recovery period, it’s unclear if he’ll be back on the mound this season.
Samsung is not in a position to go all out for a top-five finish. As of the 10th, they are in last place with a season record of 40 wins, 56 losses, and 1 tie. They are 9.5 games behind the fifth-place Doosan Bears (48 W, 45 L, 1 T). Considering that there are only 47 games left in the year, it’s hard to make up 9.5 games.
Samsung can’t afford to lose Suarez, who cost them $1.3 million, so they’ve made plans to trade Widener for the remainder of the season. Autumn baseball is about staying out of last place, even if it’s difficult. Widener signed with NC for a total of $743,000. Even if that’s his salary for the rest of the season, it’s a significant new investment. With Suarez out of the starting lineup, as well as Choi Chae-heung (28), who hasn’t been able to shake his slump since retiring from the business world, the mound needs to be reinforced.안전놀이터
In 11 games this year, Widener has a 4-2 record, 61⅔ innings pitched, and a 4.52 ERA. He’s been up and down, with only six quality starts, which ultimately earned him a failing grade. It’s encouraging to see that in his last two starts in NC, he went 1-0 with a win, 13 innings pitched, and three runs allowed.