Pitcher Woo Suk Go of Korea throws in the eighth inning during the World Baseball Classic exhibition game between Korea and Orix Buffaloes at Kyocera Dome Osaka on March 6, 2023 in Osaka, Japan. Go signed with the San Diego Padres of Major League Baseball for the 2024 and 2025 seasons.(Photo by Kenta Harada/Getty Images)
By Leif Skodnick
World Baseball Network
The San Diego Padres added another arm from Asia to their bullpen, signing South Korean pitcher Woo Suk Go to a two-year, $4.5 million deal, the team said Wednesday.
Go’s deal comes on the heels of the Padres signing left-handed reliever Yuki Matsui, who signed a five-year, $28 million deal last Saturday. The native of Incheon, South Korea has pitched seven seasons in the KBO League, converting 139 saves and making 354 relief appearances, throwing 368.1 innings with a 3.18 ERA and striking out 401 batters.
Because Go hasn’t played nine seasons in the KBO League, the Padres will have to pay a fee to his KBO team, the LG Twins, to sign him.
Go, 25, has a fastball that averages 93-95 mph and touches 98 with late movement, though his control of the fastball is iffy at times, according to Baseball America. He mixes in multiple breaking pitches with the fastball, including a 12-6 curveball and a cutter that can get batters to chase.
The Padres lost relievers Josh Hader, Nick Martinez, and Luis Garcia in free agency, and thus had holes to fill in their bullpen corps.
The addition of Matsui and Go adds significant depth at the back end, but Padres manager A.J. Preller said that roles for each pitcher have yet to be determined.
“We’re not going into this with any kind of roles yet,” Preller said. “We’re getting as much talent and guys who have different looks as we can. When we get to spring training we’ll see how they adjust and throw the ball and understand how they will benefit the team.”