KBO’s Bears sign new foreign hitter Jose Rojas

The South Korean baseball club Doosan Bears announced Wednesday they have signed former major league infielder Jose Rojas.

The Bears said Rojas agreed to a one-year deal worth US$1 million, which includes a $50,000 signing bonus.

Rojas has 83 big league games to his credit, all of them with the Los Angeles Angels over the past two seasons. This year, he batted .125 with an RBI in 22 games for them. In Triple-A this year, Rojas put up a .274/.346/.569 line with 20 homers and 52 RBIs in 69 games.

The Bears called Rojas “a spray hitter” who can drive the ball all over the field and who can handle second base, third base, and both corner outfield positions on defense.

Rojas, 29, is replacing Jose Miguel Fernandez in the Bears’ lineup. Fernandez spent four seasons with the Bears, and batted .328 with 57 home runs and 351 RBIs.

Fernandez led the Korea Baseball Organization (KBO) in hits in 2019 and 2020, and finished in the top 10 in batting average in all four seasons he played here. He had the second-most hits among all KBO hitters with 723 in the 2019-22 period.

But Fernandez also hit into more double plays than anyone in that span with 101 and set a single season record this year with 34 double plays. His power numbers and walks also dipped in 2022.

The Bears missed the postseason this year after reaching the Korean Series a record seven straight seasons from 2015 to 2021. (Yonhap)