Pair of former Oakland A’s farmhands return to KBO
By David Hill
Several former members of the Oakland A’s organization have headed overseas in an attempt to resurrect their careers. That continued on Sunday, in at least one case.
According to Dan Kurtz of MyKBO.net, Addison Russell and Eric Jokisch have signed with the Kiwoom Heroes. Russell is set to earn $750,000 while Jokisch will receive $1.5 million for the 2023 season.
Former Oakland A’s farmhands set to be teammates in KBO
This is Russell’s second stint with the Heroes. He initially headed to the Korean Baseball Organization in 2020 after being let go by the Cubs but struggled in his time with the Heroes. Russell posted a .254/.317/.336 batting line in his 271 plate appearances, hitting two homers and 14 doubles.
It was a major fall from grace for the former top prospect. Russell had appeared to be on his way to being a cornerstone for the Cubs until his ex-wife accused him of physical and verbal abuse during their marriage. He served a 40 game suspension in 2018, and while the Cubs kept him on, he was not the same afterwards, including his time in the KBO. However, a strong showing in Mexico over the past two years is getting him another chance with the Heroes.
Jokisch had all of 14.1 innings of major league experience back in 2014. While he posted a 1.88 ERA, his 1.535 WHiP and 5.29 FIP were hardly inspiring as he failed to receive another look at the majors despite being a part of five different organizations over the following four years. He has found his place with the Heroes, blossoming into a star in the KBO as he has posted a 2.72 ERA and a 1.124 WHiP in his 701.2 innings, striking out 536 batters with 143 walks. At 34 years old, he appears to have found his place in professional baseball and is content to stay with the Heroes.
A pair of former Oakland A’s farmhands are teaming up in the Korean Baseball Organization. Addison Russell and Eric Jokisch are returning to the Kiwoom Heroes for 2023.