Friday, May 25, 2018
Tampa Bay Rays

Former Rays DH Scott heads to South Korea

Luke Scott always makes it interesting.

And the former Rays DH is doing so again in the next stage of his baseball career, signing to play next season in South Korea.

"I believe it will be an adventure," Scott said Thursday via text message. "This is where the Lord is sending me."

Scott, 35, looked first to stay in the majors but said the options presented were "not the opportunities I wanted," so he signed with SK Wyverns, getting the maximum $300,000 ($250,000 salary, $50,000 signing bonus) allowed for first-year foreign players. (There is considerable media speculation players in South Korea receive additional compensation.)

Scott, known for openly sharing both his conservative political views and details of his hunting exploits, looked back on his two seasons with the Rays with mixed feelings. He was limited by injuries and inconsistent play to 187 games, hitting .235 with 23 home runs, 95 RBIs and a .733 on-base plus slugging percentage, while making $8.75 million.

"For the time I was on the field, I was productive even though I never really got in a groove," Scott said.

"I had a good experience with the atmosphere, but the inconsistency of playing, even when healthy, was a challenge. I loved the city and the fans — they were awesome. I just wished I could have gotten in a groove and put up the numbers I know I am capable of."

More Rays: With some details to be worked out, first baseman James Loney's new three-year, $21 million contract might not be official until after Christmas.

A's get Ex-Plant player: Oakland acquired outfielder Corey Brown from Washington for cash in yet another December trade by Athletics general manager Billy Beane. Brown, 28, a Tampa native who starred at Plant High, has played in 36 major-league games in parts of three seasons, batting .175 with two homers and four RBIs. After recently trading Seth Smith to the Padres, the addition of Brown provides depth to an outfield figuring to feature Yoenis Cespedes in left, Coco Crisp in center and Josh Reddick in right. Brown, a first-round pick by Oakland in the 2007 amateur draft, can play all three outfield positions.

Indians: Closer John Axford completed a $4.5 million, one-year deal. The 30-year-old right-hander replaces All-Star Chris Perez, who was released in October. Axford, who saved 46 games for the Brewers in 2011, lost his closer's job last season and was traded to the Cardinals in August.

White Sox: The team agreed to a $3 million, one-year contract with right-hander Ronald Belisario and is closing in on a $4 million, one-year deal with pitcher Scott Downs. Belisario, 30, was 5-7 with a 3.97 ERA in 77 games with the Dodgers last season. Downs, 37, was 4-4 with a 2.49 ERA in 68 games last season for the Angels and Braves.

Yankees: Outfielder Carlos Beltran, 36, finalized a $45 million, three-year deal. The eight-time all-star, slowed by knee injuries, has retained a potent bat, especially in October. He hit .296 with 24 homers and 84 RBIs for the Cardinals last season and added two homers and 15 RBIs in the postseason. The team seems to have a logjam among outfielders, a group that includes newly acquired Jacoby Ellsbury, Brett Gardner, Ichiro Suzuki, Alfonso Soriano and Vernon Wells.

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