UPDATE (Feb. 17): A physical issue has caused Texas and Oh to scuttle the deal, according to reports. Oh will once again hit the free-agent market.
UPDATE (Feb. 15): Rangers general manager Jon Daniels told reporters that there’s “nothing imminent” between Texas and Oh at the moment. It’s unclear if this means the deal isn’t happening, or rather that the team isn’t ready to announce the reported agreement at this time.
ORIGINAL: The Rangers have reached agreement with reliever Seung-hwan Oh on a one-year, $2.75 million deal, according to The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal and Devan Fink of SB Nation’s Beyond the Box Score. The deal reportedly includes a $4.5 million option or $250k buyout for 2019 and $1 million in attainable bonuses.
Oh, 35, will join fellow free-agent signee Chris Martin as new additions to a Texas bullpen that will also include Tony Barnette, Keone Kela, Jake Diekman and Alex Claudio now that Matt Bush is slated to compete for a rotation spot. It’s unclear whether Oh will close for Texas; he saved 39 games over the last two seasons for St. Louis.
Oh had an excellent rookie campaign in America in 2016, posting a 1.92 ERA and saving 19 games in 79.2 innings for the Cardinals and finishing sixth in the voting for NL Rookie of the Year. His 2017 was not as sharp, as he owned a 4.10 ERA and 4.44 FIP in 59.1 innings while saving 20 games.
Texas will hope the Oh they’re getting will be closer to the one that broke into the majors in 2016 and that he can be a valuable addition to a bullpen with some uncertainty in its back end. If Oh does pitch well this year, he’ll be available to return at a reasonable price in 2019 thanks to the club option.