The San Francisco Giants aren’t quite done adding to their 2017 roster. Today, rumors have surfaced that they are about to finalize the acquisition of KBO Slugger, Jae Gyun Hwang.
With only a month until the San Francisco Giants get to spring training, they seem to have added one final piece to the puzzle. Reports from Alex Pavlovic have confirmed the earlier report from Naver Sports in South Korea, that the Giants will sign infielder Jae-Gyun Hwang to a minor league deal with a spring training invite.
Hwang is a third baseman and would probably project to be somewhere between Connor Gillaspie and Christian Arroyo at the third base positional depth chart. Hwang played for the Lotte Giants of the KBO (Korean Baseball Organization). He has hit 65 home-runs in the last three seasons, in what is typically a hitter friendly league. He also brings with him a solid amount of speed, stealing 173 bases in his KBO career.
Hwang does not have a guaranteed roster spot, meaning he’s a non-roster invite to spring training. If he makes the big-league squad out of Spring Training, his salary would be $1.5 million plus incentives.
Pavlovic said in his write up that the contract likely would include an opt-out clause allowing him to return to the KBO, assuming that’s if his experience didn’t live up to expectations, or he doesn’t want to play in AAA if he doesn’t make the big league squad.
Overall? It’s a good move by the Giants, they don’t lose anything significant by bringing him in. Despite being an international free-agent, he didn’t require a posting fee, which is a big bonus. Hwang is 29 and right in the middle of his prime. He just might end up making the big league squad and providing some good power off the bench. If he doesn’t, again, the Giants wouldn’t really be losing anything.
The Giants have done this with a lot of players this offseason. The most notable are Jimmy Rollins and Michael Morse. All of these are really good options for the Giants. All Hwang does is add more competition to the mix. If he ends up working out, it benefits the big league squad. It also gives the Giants a bit more time to Arroyo.