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December 20, 2010

Chan Ho Park Heading to Japan

A couple of weeks ago, Pittsburgh Pirates general manager Neal Huntington said that the "door is open" for Chan Ho Park to return in 2011.

Now, reports are that Major League Baseball's first South Korean-born player is heading to Japan to pitch for the Orix Buffaloes of the Nippon Professional Baseball and details of the deal are expected to be announced during a press conference Tuesday.

This...according to the Yonhap News Agency:

The 37-year-old right hander has signed a one-year deal with the Osaka-based Buffaloes of Nippon Professional Baseball (NPB), his management company Team 61 said. Financial terms of the deal were not immediately disclosed. Park will discuss his future in more detail in a press conference scheduled for Tuesday, the agency said.

Prior to this past season, Park had signed a one-year, $1.2 million contract with the New York Yankees.  After struggling with a 5.60 ERA in 27 appearances...the righty was designated for assignment on July 31.

Less than a week later, he was claimed off waivers by Pittsburgh.

On October 1st, Park became the winningest Asian pitcher in Major League history.  For his career, the 37-year-old reliever is 124-98 with a 4.36 ERA, was an All-Star in 2001 and in four appearances during the 2009 World Series...managed a 0.00 ERA.

Park's departure from the states leaves Cleveland Indians outfielder Shin-soo Choo as the only South Korean in the Majors.

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