CPBL Foreign Players Updates Volume #71
Fubon Guardians News: Henry Sosa
After keeping fans guessing for weeks about the Guardians’ third foreign pitcher, the Fubon Guardians have announced the signing of the former KBO’s right-hander Henry Sosa today.
“All three foreign pitchers will report to the spring camp mid-February,” said the Guardians’ general manager Chris Tsai. “We hope Loree, Woodall and Sosa can all stay healthy and contribute for the 2019 CPBL season.”
Henry Sosa, the 33-year-old flame-throwing right-hander made his MLB debut in 2011 with the Houston Astros where he posted a 5.23 ERA and 1.44 WHIP across ten starts, 53.1 innings.
After leaving the MLB system, Sosa joined the KBO’s KIA Tigers in 2012 where he stayed for the next seven seasons. From 2012 to 2018, Sosa pitched for three KBO teams (KIA Tigers, Nexen Heroes and the LG Twins) with a combined record of 4.32 ERA, 1.34 WHIP across 194 games and 1197 innings.
Prior signing with the Guardians, in 2018, Sosa had one of his best season in his KBO career. He posted a 3.52 ERA and 1.21 WHIP over 27 starts, 181.1 innings. It is also worth noting, Sosa only issued 28 walks while struck out 181.
No Plan for Fourth Backup Pitcher
The Guardians’ general manager also told the media the team have no further plan to sign a fourth foreign pitcher as the backup. “Unless it is necessary, we won’t start looking until the middle of the season,” said Chris Tsai.
With the signing of Henry Sosa, and the Guardians not going to find another backup foreign player, the Guardians have officially filled their 2019 foreign players quota with Mike Loree, Bryan Woodall and Henry Sosa.
Foreign players come and goes, therefore we compiled a foreign players tracker to keep track of all the foreign players signing for the 2019 CPBL season.
This is a great signing for the Guardians. Sosa is coming off arguably his best KBO season. He also has a good record of staying healthy and pitching consistently.
I think the Guardians are smart to sign the best three foreign starters they can find, paying them a little more and foregoing signing a fourth foreign pitcher to pitch in the minors. The strategy didn’t work out great in 2018 because Bruce Billings didn’t pitch as well as hoped, but there is no substitute for strong starting pitching.
Without knowing more, my guess would be that Sosa is willing to play for a CPBL salary because the contract would allow him to leave mid-season if a KBO team comes calling looking to replace an ineffective foreign starter.
Great signing by the Guardians indeed! Pretty much nabbed a healthy KBO ace who throws hard and can go distance. On paper, Sosa could potentially be one of the strongest foreign players in the CPBL history.
The latest rumour I heard is Henry Sosa still owe some tax money in South Korea (That double tax thing I talked about last time on your site).
Selling contract to the KBO can be quite lucrative for the CPBL team. Monkeys sold Chris Seddon’s contract to SK Wyverns for $80,000 USD, Rhinos sold Andy Sisco to kt wiz for $50,000 USD and for Nick Additon, off top of my head, the Brothers sold him to Lotte Giants for $50,000 to $100,000 USD. (I need to fact check on Additon’s buyout fee). But having said that, it is not like Fubon Financial need the money anyway.
Oh something worth noting here, maybe Sosa is signed to a 6-month deal, because the way Guardians told the media how they won’t start looking for backup pitcher until mid-season. We know Loree is on full year guarantee deal and it is most likely the same for Woodall too. Ideally, if NPB or KBO are going to buyout Sosa mid-sesason, the Guardians can probably take a small percentage of that buyout fee to sign an ace from the Atlantic League, timing wise it is perfect.
That makes sense. If Sosa pitches well in Taiwan, he can probably be sold to the KBO (or maybe NPB) for $100,000.