Park Chan-ho to Pitch for Yankees in 2010
By Kang Seung-woo
Veteran right-hander Park Chan-ho will wear pinstripes next season.
``I decided to join the New York Yankees this morning,'' the 36-year-old Korean said in a press conference in Seoul Monday.
``I will work as a reliever and my terms are a one-year contract worth $1.2 million.''
However, he could make up to $1.5 million according to his performance.
He agreed to a $2.5 million deal with Philadelphia for last year.
``I was deliberating on the Chicago Cubs and the Yankees, but their history and championship contention resulted in me picking the Yankees,'' he said.
The free agent hurler, who went 2-2 with a 2.52 ERA in the bullpen last season to contribute to the Philadelphia Phillies reaching the World Series, where they lost 4-2 to the Yankees.
After declining a $3 million offer from the Phillies, he has looked for a team.
During the offseason, he has been linked to several teams, including the Tampa Bay Rays, San Francisco Giants, the Cubs and Yankees.
And his desire for the championship led him to the 27-time World Series winner.
``Until last night, I was leaning toward the Cubs,'' said Park, who did not appear in the World Series until last season.
According to him, the Cubs promised to give him a chance to battle for a rotation spot in spring training.
``But I wanted to play for a champion-caliber team this year again. I am not certain how much longer I will play baseball, but it will be huge experience and memory to play with the Yankees.''
Moving to the Bronx, the 16-year pro will play for his sixth team in Major League Baseball (MLB).
He made his big-league debut with the Los Angeles Dodgers in 1994 and joined the Texas Rangers via free agency in 2002.
He also played for the San Diego Padres and New York Mets.
Park, the first South Korean export to MLB, has compiled a record of 120-95 with a 4.35 ERA, and is four wins away from becoming the ``winningest'' Asian hurler in the league.
Retired Japanese pitcher Hideo Nomo is at 123-109.