KBO League’s LG Twins Sign Austin Dean

The LG Twins of the Korea Baseball Organization announced that outfielder Austin Dean has been signed to a one-year contract. (Hat tip to Dan Kurtz of MyKBO.net.)  Dean receives a $100K signing bonus and a $400K salary for the season, and another $200K is available in bonuses.

Dean (who turned 29 in October) heads to South Korea after 11 seasons in North American pro ball, beginning when he was a fourth-round selection for the Marlins in the 2012 draft.  After making his MLB debut in 2018, Dean has seen some action in each of the last five Major League seasons, though his 98 appearances with Miami in 2018-19 represents most of his big league experience.  The Marlins dealt Dean to the Cardinals in January 2020, and the outfielder has since only played in 28 MLB games.  That includes three games with San Francisco in 2022, after the Giants claimed Dean off waivers from the Cards last offseason.

Over 365 career plate appearances in the Show, Dean has 11 home runs and a .228/.286/.390 slash line.  Unfortunately for Dean, the dreaded “Quad-A” label may apply — while he hasn’t had much success in the majors, he has hit .301/.375/.508 with 45 home runs over 1134 PA at the Triple-A level.  That production at least helped Dean get a few more looks in the big leagues, and it may bode well for him in the more hitter-friendly KBO League.

As noted by Jeeho Yoo of Yonhap News, the LG Twins have now filled their three roster spots designated for non-Korean players.  Dean joins right-handers Casey Kelly and Adam Plutko as the Twins’ international contingent, with Kelly returning for his fifth season with the Twins and Plutko his second.

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