Former Phillies righthander Chan Ho Park has signed with the team who beat them in the World Series. Park announced at a press conference in South Korea early this morning that he has signed a one-year deal with the Yankees worth $1.2 million, plus $300,000 worth of incentives. Park, according to a report by the Yonhap News Agency, said he had considered signing with the Cubs, who had offered him a chance to be a starter, "But I have chosen the Yankees, a prestigious team that can advance to the World Series again."
Of course, Park could have signed with another team that has a chance to advance to the World Series again, and for nearly twice the money he says he landed with the Yankees. The Phillies made no secret of their desire to re-sign Park, who posted a 2.52 ERA and struck out 9.4 batters per nine innings in 50 innings as a reliever last season. They made him an offer in the neighborhood of $3 million per year, but eventually moved on and signed righthanders Danys Baez and Jose Contreras.
Contreras, a former starter with the Yankees and White Sox, is expected to fill the void Park left.
Contreras is actually guaranteed more money by the Phillies -- $1.5 million -- than Park is guaranteed by the Yankees.
Park initially signed with the Phillies last offseason expecting to compete for the fifth spot in the rotation, even though manager Charlie Manuel has said he viewed Park as a reliever. Park did compete, and eventually won the spot, but struggled early on and eventually was replaced by J.A. Happ in the rotation.
Despite success as a reliever, Park was quoted by South Korean reporters this offseason as saying that he wanted to find a team that would give him another chance to start, although the Phillies said they were under the understanding that Park was open to returning to the team as a reliever.
Park doesn't appear to have any shot at starting with the Yankees, who feature C.C. Sabathia, Javier Vazquez, A.J. Burnett and Andy Pettitte, with well-regarded young players Joba Chamberlain and Phil Hughes competing for the final spot in the rotation.