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Ryan Garko leaves MLB, signs with Korean team for $300,000

Dec 10, 2010, 12:47 PM EDT

garko1 AP

Ryan Garko spent 2007-2009 as a starting first baseman for the Indians and Giants, but played most of this season at Triple-A after being claimed off waivers by the Rangers.

And now he’s headed to Korea.

Apparently unable to land a major-league deal as even a part-time player, Garko has signed with the Samsung Lions of the Korea Baseball Organization. According to the Korea Herald he’ll make a base salary of $250,000 and also gets a $50,000 signing bonus, so Garko will make about 75 percent of the MLB minimum.

Garko is a 29-year-old career .274/.347/.434 hitter who has always fared well against left-handed pitching, but when you’re a defensively challenged first baseman without a ton of power the jobs dry up in a hurry.

  1. cnitkowski - Dec 10, 2010 at 1:59 PM

    Don’t be fooled by that $300K. The first year foreigner maximum in the KBO is $300K. Many teams go above it, but you’ll never read about it. Samsung has the money to do it, they represent a large portion of Korea’s GDP. With his service time/experience Garko is probably closer to $500-600K guaranteed, possibly more.

  2. drpaisley - Dec 10, 2010 at 10:50 PM

    Not to mention the bonus Garko is getting for replacing Shin-Soo Choo on the Korean Army team.

  3. Old Gator - Dec 10, 2010 at 11:24 PM

    I don’t think Garko knows about that yet. You have to hand it to the guy; he picked a great time to go to Korea. Enjoy World War III, man-frog.

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