Another week, another former Oakland A’s player heading to a league overseas.
This time, it is former A’s reliever Burch Smith. According to Dan Kurtz from MyKBO.net, Smith is set to join the Hanwha Eagles. He will earn $700,000 for the season, received a $100,000 signing bonus, and has a chance to earn up to $200,000 in incentives.
Former Oakland A’s reliever Burch Smith gets solid 2023 payday
Smith had been a somewhat prominent part of the A’s bullpen in 2021. He had a strong showing in the pandemic shortened 2020 campaign, allowing just three runs on seven hits and a walk over his 12 innings, striking out 13 batters. Although a strained forearm ended his season after just six appearances, it seemed as though Smith had finally found his place in the majors.
That was not the case. Smith struggled with a more prominent role, posting a 5.40 ERA and a 1.385 WHiP over his 43.1 innings, striking out 28 batters with 11 walks. He was eventually released in the middle of September, ending his time with the A’s organization.
Smith spent the 2022 season with the Seibu Lions in Nippon Professional Baseball. He had a much better showing in Japan, posting a 3.29 ERA and a 1.148 WHiP in his 38.1 innings, striking out 37 batters with 14 walks. As he is just 33 years old, it would have made sense for a major league team to give him a look for the upcoming year based on his performance overseas.
Instead, Smith will continue to build his resume in the Korean Baseball Organization. He may not have received the type of offer he would have wanted to come back stateside, and his payday with the Eagles is far better than he would be able to expect on a minor league deal. Should he perform well in South Korea, Smith could get that chance again next year.
Former Oakland A’s reliever Burch Smith has found a new home. He is set to pitch for the Hanwha Eagles in the Korean Baseball Organization.