In the middle of the 2022 season, KBO League clubs worked diligently to replace sluggish foreign players. At the time, the most popular players in the American Major League were Chichi Gonzalez and Drew Hutchison (33).
During the season, the resource pool itself was narrow, and many teams were interested in being selected as players with the potential to come to Korea but with skills. However, both players remained in the major leagues despite knowing the interest of the KBO league clubs. Not because I was ignoring Korea, but because a major league contract was visible if I went a little further. There was no reason to go to Korea at that timing.
So did Hutchison. Hutchison returned to the major leagues by signing with Detroit in 2021. However, last year, depending on the team’s circumstances, he was designated for transfer (DFA), then went down to the minor leagues, and there were many complicated contract transfers to and from the major leagues. It was the decisive reason for the hope that it was possible to go to the KBO League.
However, the club and the coaching staff came forward and offered Hutchison good conditions, and Hutchison eventually gave up his intention to go to the KBO League after receiving a guarantee of receiving a major league salary for the remainder of the season. Hutchison went 3-9 with an ERA of 4.53 in 28 games (18 starts) with Detroit last year.
There were limitations, and even this offseason, he did not receive a major league contract. He was a substitute 5 starter, and many clubs had it, so there was no great appeal. It was not easy to sign a contract with his original team, Detroit. Half a year ago, KBO League clubs that were enthusiastic about themselves left to find other players in the widened market. Eventually, Hutchison decided to sign a minor league contract and try to make his comeback.
Toronto officially announced on the 7th (Korean time) five minor league contract players who will be invited to the team’s 2023 spring training, which will begin in mid-February. Hutchison’s name was also on this list. The Toronto club welcomed the return of his home team by introducing, “Hutchison played 76 games in the Toronto organization from 2012 to 2016. He was selected in the 15th round by Toronto in the 2009 draft.”
Toronto already has a strong 1-4 starter. The line between Alec Manoa, Kevin Gaussman, Jose Berrios and Chris Bassitt is strong. However, there is a problem with the 5 selection. Ryu Hyun-jin can only return after July due to an injury, and Kikuchi Yusei was too sluggish last year. Mitch White and Thomas Hatch are also not reliable starters. 메이저사이트
With White or Hatch or Kikuchi looking set to do swingman duties, they may have felt they needed more insurance to cover this. Hutchison is a suitable type for this. Of his 135 career major league appearances, 99 were starts. It can be used simultaneously as an alternative starter or as a long relief that digests 2-3 innings.
If Kikuchi and other 5 starters are sluggish and Hutchison creates a picture that goes up in the first half, there is a possibility of competing with Ryu Hyun-jin for a spot in the second half. If there are no injuries, it seems that four starting pitchers will rotate, and Ryu Hyun-jin is aiming for a comeback after July. It’s reasonable to expect Ryu Hyun-jin to be given priority, but if his grades are poor after his return, another story could unfold.