The Cardinals have signed Korean reliever Seung-Hwan Oh to a 1-year deal that includes an option for 2017, as first reported by Daniel Kim of KBSn. According to Ilgan Sports in Korea, the deal can max out at $11 million if the option is exercised.
Oh, 33, has been one of the most dominant relievers in Korea for more than a decade, posting a 1.81 ERA and saving 357 games with the Korean Samsung Lions (2005-13) and Japanese Hanshin Tigers (2014-15). He drew interest from the Yankees a couple of years ago, but decided then to pitch in Japan, and it appears that St. Louis will be his first North American stop.
The Cardinals have a proven closer in Trevor Rosenthal, and also have Kevin Siegrist, Seth Maness, Jonathan Broxton, Jordan Walden and Tyler Lyons in a solid bullpen mix. The team lost Steve Cishek to free agency this winter, meaning that Oh will likely compete for a late-inning role in front of Rosenthal.
Oh is the third notable Korean player to sign with a major-league team this winter, joining Byung-ho Park (Twins) and Hyun-soo Kim (Orioles).