As initially reported by Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, the St. Louis Cardinals have agreed to a contract with South Korean relief pitcher Seung-Hwan Oh. The contract is guaranteed for 2016 and also has a team option for 2017. Oh has spent the last two seasons pitching in Japan for the Hanshin Tigers, and the previous nine seasons (2005-2013) pitching for the Samsung Lions in his native Korea.
Nicknamed “The Final Boss,” Oh has established himself as one of the premiere relief pitchers in international play. He has come out of the bullpen in each of his 571 professional appearances, compiling a career 1.81 ERA, with 10.7 strikeouts per nine innings. Oh has 357 career saves, which is more than any active Major League player except for Francisco Rodriguez (386) and Joe Nathan (377).
Oh will likely pitch in a set-up role with the Cardinals, who have relied on Trevor Rosenthal as their closer for the last two seasons. The Cardinals are one of many major league teams who are spending free agency strengthening an already-deep bullpen, as they already employ capable relievers like Kevin Siegrist, Jordan Walden, and Miguel Socolovich.