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KBO: Mel Rojas Jr. and William Cuevas Return to KT Wiz 

 Leif Skodnick  |    Dec 8th, 2023 7:36pm EST

(Photo by Chung Sung-Jun/Getty Images)

By Conor Liguori  

December 8, 2023  

The KT Wiz have signed outfielder Mel Rojas Jr. and re-signed pitcher William Cuevas for the 2024 Korean Baseball Organization season, according to Korea JoongAng Daily.  

Rojas Jr. will earn $900,000 for the 2024 KBO season, and Cuevas agreed to a $1.5 million contract for next year, the KT Wiz announced on Thursday.  

Rojas Jr. returns to Korea after playing four seasons with the KT Wiz organization from 2017-20. Since 2021, the switch hitter has played in Nippon Professional Baseball for the Hanshin Tigers, Liga de Béisbol Profesional de la República Dominicana for the Tigres del Licey, and Liga Mexicana de Béisbol for the Toros de Tijuana, Acereros de Monclova and Guerreros de Oaxaca.  

In 511 games with the KT Wiz, Rojas Jr. owns a .321 batting average with 132 home runs and 409 RBI. The 33-year-old has eight years of playing experience in minor-league baseball but has never cracked a Major League Baseball roster. He was named the 2020 KBO MVP after hitting 47 home runs with 135 RBI and a 1.097 OPS.  

“I am happy to wear the KT uniform again,” Rojas told reporters. “I had many good memories while playing for KT and had a strong desire to return. I’m looking forward to seeing colleagues and fans again.”  

In all likelihood, Rojas will be in the everyday starting lineup for the Wiz and will fulfill a similar or expanded role that outfielder Anthony Alford served for the club from 2022-23. Alford became a free agent after the 2023 KBO season, and a reunion with the KT Wiz seems unlikely after the signing of Rojas.  

Cuevas had a fantastic year on the mound for the KT Wiz in 2023, posting a 12-0 record with a 2.60 ERA and 100 strikeouts in 114.1 innings. He also made 11 appearances with the Oklahoma City Dodgers, the Triple-A affiliate of the Los Angeles Dodgers. He allowed 30 earned runs in 44 innings, which is suitable for a 6.14 ERA.  

Cuevas made 13 appearances in Major League Baseball from 2016-18 with the Boston Red Sox and Detroit Tigers but posted a 7.41 ERA in 2018 as a 27-year-old and has not seen MLB action since. He has played five seasons with the KT Wiz since 2019 and was selected as the starting pitcher for the first game of the 2021 Korean Series against the Doosan Bears, the first Korean Series game in KT Wiz history.  

The right-handed pitcher suffered an elbow injury in his second start of the season in 2022 with the KT Wiz, and the club released him shortly after. Cuevas was born in Venezuela but played for Colombia in the 2017 and 2023 World Baseball Classic.  

The KT Wiz are looking to return to the 2024 Korean Series after losing to the LG Twins four games to one in the championship round in 2023. They swept the Doosan Bears in the 2015 Korean Series to win the organization’s first and only championship.  o

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Leif Skodnick