The SSG Landers of the Korea Baseball Organization have announced that they have signed outfielder Guillermo Heredia (hat tip to Dan Kurtz of MyKBO.net). Heredia will earn $900K, with the possibility of earning an additional $100K in performance bonuses.
Heredia, who was projected to make $1.1MM in his final trip through the arbitration process, was non-tendered by the Braves in November. A veteran of parts of seven Major League seasons, Heredia joined Atlanta after the 2020 season, having been designated for assignment by the Mets, and would go on to win a World Series with the club.
Heredia appeared in 74 games (82 plate appearances) with the Braves during the 2022 season. However, he hit a poor .158/.220/.342 with a colossal 39% strikeout rate and below-average 7.3% walk rate. While never a major factor at the plate, with a career .231/.310/.346 line, 20% strikeout rate, and 8.3% walk rate, the right-handed hitter has a history of above-average fielding, having accrued at least five Outs Above Average (OAA) in five of his seven seasons. Nevertheless, during the 2022 season, Heredia earned 0 OAA while posting 1 Defensive Run Saved and a 0.8 Ultimate Zone Rating.
With the Braves hosting an outfield of three-time All-Star Ronald Acuna Jr., reigning Rookie of the Year Michael Harris, Eddie Rosario, and two-time All-Star Marcell Ozuna, Heredia was evidently deemed non-essential by the club. Instead, Heredia, who turns 32 years old in January, will make the transition overseas. He will earn a raise compared to a minor league salary and can explore a return to MLB if his time in South Korea proves fruitful.
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