Worldwide Hot Stove: Seabold Heads to South Korea; LIDOM Triple Crown Winner to Toronto Blue Jays

Paolo Espino of the Washington Nationals pitches during the first inning of a game against the San Diego Padres at PETCO Park on August 19, 2022 in San Diego, California. Espino has a minor league deal with Toronto for 2024. (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)

By Matthew Tallarini
World Baseball Network

Starting Pitcher Connor Seabold Signs With Samsung Lions For 2024 KBO Season Right-handed pitcher Seabold, 27, was born in Laguna Hills, Calif., and was with the Colorado Rockies during the 2023 regular season before signing with the KBO’s Samsung Lions for 2024. He threw 87.1 innings in 27 appearances and made 13 starts, going 1-7 with a 7.52 ERA, allowing 73 earned runs, 116 hits, 19 home runs, 28 walks, 67 strikeouts, and a 1.649 WHIP. Seabold also pitched for Triple-A Albuquerque in 2023 and posted a 1-2 record, throwing 31.1 innings with a 7.47 ERA in eight starts, allowing 46 hits, 26 earned runs, three home runs, eight walks, 36 strikeouts, and a 1.723 WHIP. 

According to Baseball Savant, “Seabold’s strikeout ratio was at 16.4% and his walks percent was at 6.9% in 2023. His fastball reaches 92.6 mph.”  According to Yoo Jee-ho of Yonhap News Agency, ”Seabold’s contract is listed as a one-year deal that could pay him up to US $1 million. He will make $800,000 in salary and $100,000 in signing bonus, with another $100,000 available in incentives.” 

Right-Handed Starting Pitcher Paolo Espino Signs Minor League Contract With Toronto Blue Jays And Invited To Spring Training Espino, 36, was born in Panama City, Panama, and has played five seasons in Major League Baseball. Last season, Espino played his fifth campaign with the Washington Nationals, and also spent time with Triple-A Rochester. 

Espino was on and off the Injured List during the 2023 season. This winter, Espino played with Toros del Este in LIDOM during the 2023-24 regular season, winning the pitching triple crown. Espino had signed with the Leones de Yucatan in the Liga Mexicana de Beisbol for 2024 prior to his signing with the Blue Jays. 

Espino was released on August 6 by the Nationals. Espino threw three games out of the bullpen, going four innings and posting a 24.75 ERA while allowing 14 hits, 11 earned runs, one home run, three walks, and three strikeouts. At Triple-A Rochester, Espino posted a 4-3 record in 13 starts with a 4.33 ERA and 60.1 innings pitched, allowing 58 hits, 29 earned runs, 10 home runs, 10 home runs, 22 walks, 52 strikeouts, and a 1.326 WHIP. 

Outfielder Alex Dickerson Signs With NPB’s Chunichi Dragons – Dickerson, 33, was born in Poway, Calif., and signed with the Chunichi Dragons on December 21 according to Jon Heyman of the New York Post. Dickerson has played in six seasons in MLB with the San Diego Padres from 2015-2016 and 2019, the San Francisco Giants from 2019-21, and the Atlanta Braves in 2022.

Dickerson played for Israel at the 2023 World Baseball Classic, appearing in four games and batting .250 with three hits, one walk, and three strikeouts.

Last season, Dickerson split the season between the Long Island Ducks of the Atlantic League and the Acereros de Monclova of the LMB. Dickerson started the 2023 season with Monclova and played in 12 games, batting .261 in 51 plate appearances with 12 hits, three doubles, one triple, five RBI, four walks, and 10 strikeouts before being released on May 5. Dickerson signed with the Ducks on May 12 and played in 115 games, batting .314 with 126 hits, 23 doubles, two triples, 26 home runs, 91 RBI, 48 walks, 77 strikeouts, and a .965 OPS. 

Left-handed Relief Pitcher Deok Ju Ham Re-Signs With KBO’s LG Twins – Twenty-eight year old South Korean left-handed pitcher Deok Ju Ham will play in his 12th season in the Korean Baseball Organization and his fourth season with the LG Twins in 2024. Ham played with the Doosan Bears from 2013-20 prior to his signing with the LG Twins during the 2020-21 offseason. Ham has won three Korean Series titles with the Doosan Bears in 2015, 2016, and 2019.

“Ham signed for a four-year deal worth close to $2.9M, including incentives with the LG Twins,” Yoo Jee-ho reported. 

In 2023, Ham threw in 57 games out of the bullpen and posted a 1.62 ERA, throwing 55.2 innings with a 4-0 record and allowing 32 hits, 10 earned runs, one home run, 22 walks, 59 strikeouts, and a 0.970 WHIP. The LG Twins won their third Korean Series title despite being the fourth seed entering the playoffs and beat the No. 1 KT Wiz in the best-of-seven championship series in five games.

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