Ex-Mariners first baseman Dae-ho Lee has agreed to a four-year deal to return to the Lotte Giants in Korea, according to a major-league source. Jeeho Yoo of the Yonhap News Agency reports that Lee will receive a record $12.9 million guarantee from Lotte.
Lee was said to be considering options in both America and Korea this winter, but ultimately elected to return to his native country on a record deal. Lee spent the first 16 years of his pro career in the Korean Baseball Organization, with the first eleven years (2001-2011) coming with Lotte.
Lee hit .253/.312/.428 with 14 homers and 49 RBI in 104 games for Seattle last year after signing a minor-league contract with the club in early November. His stateside value was likely negatively influenced by the glut of power-hitting free-agent options available this winter, with Adam Lind, Logan Morrison, Mike Napoli, Chris Carter and Brandon Moss among the options still available for clubs.