CLEARWATER, Fla. — Darin Ruf found a chance at regular playing time, albeit halfway across the world.
The former Phillies first baseman signed a $1.1 million deal with the Samsung Lions in the Korean Baseball Organization, according to Yonhap News. Ruf had been property of the Los Angeles Dodgers, who acquired him last November in the Howie Kendrick trade.
— Dan Kurtz (@MyKBO) February 17, 2017
Ruf played in just 43 games for the Phillies last season, and batted .205 with a .573 OPS. He swatted 35 homers in five seasons with the Phillies. The former 20th-round pick never equaled his incredible 2012 season at double-A Reading, when he bashed 38 homers and hit .317.
He is the sixth player from the Phillies' season-ending 40-man roster to head overseas. Jimmy Paredes, Elvis Araujo, David Buchanan, Frank Herrmann and Phil Klein have signed with Japanese teams.
Ruf will attempt to follow the recent path created by Eric Thames, who languished in the majors as a reserve for a few seasons until he left for Korea. Thames returned to sign a three-year, $16 million deal with the Milwaukee Brewers.