Left-handed relief pitcher Hong-Chih Kuo, who spent nearly 13 years in the Los Angeles Dodgers organization, has moved on. Kuo reportedly signed a one-year contract on Monday with the Seattle Mariners, per Peter Wang of ETTV.
Kuo will earn $500,000 in base salary, plus potentially another $2.25 million in bonuses. He gets an extra $1 million if he makes the 25-man roster.
Kuo, 30, had a miserable campaign in 2011 after having one of the best relief seasons in Dodgers franchise history in 2010. Kuo had a 9.00 ERA in 40 games for the Dodgers in 2011, with 23 walks and 36 strikeouts in 27 innings. He had two stints on the disabled list last season, one with a bad back and one with the yips, as Kuo lost the ability to find the strike zone and missed six weeks with what was termed by the team as an anxiety disorder.
Kuo had arthroscopic elbow surgery in late October, the fifth time his left arm has been operated on in his career, including a pair of Tommy John surgeries. The Dodgers signed Kuo in 1999 out of high school in Taiwan, and he was the longest-tenured player in the Dodgers organization before the club non-tendered the southpaw in December.
In 2010, Kuo set a Dodgers franchise record with a 1.20 ERA in 60 innings, and struck out 73 batters against just 18 walks, making the All-Star team for the first time in his career. In parts of seven seasons with the Dodgers, Kuo was 13-17 with a 3.73 ERA and 13 saves, with 345 strikeouts in 292 innings.
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