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Phillies secure deal with Korean pitcher

KOREAN pitcher Chan Ho Park and the World Series champion Philadelphia Phillies finalized a US$2.5 million, one-year contract on Tuesday.

"We've acquired a veteran guy who can pitch in either a starting role or as a reliever," Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. said. "He will come to spring training and be given every opportunity to compete for a spot in the starting rotation."

The 35-year-old right-hander played with the Los Angeles Dodgers last season, finishing with a 4-4 win-loss record and a 3.40 ERA in 54 appearances. He was 1-0 with a 2.16 ERA as a starter and 3-4 with a 3.84 ERA in relief.

Park should compete with Kyle Kendrick, J.A. Happ and prospect Carlos Carrasco for the fifth spot in the Phillies rotation.

An All-Star in 2001, Park can earn an additional US$2.5 million in performance bonuses based on starts, innings, games and games finished.

Park started his Major League career from 1997-2001 with the Dodgers before moving onto Texas, San Diego, the New York Mets then back to the Dodgers.

"I'm very happy to be a Phillie," Park said.

"It's an honor to be on a championship team. I was trying to beat them in the playoffs last year and now I'm trying to help them win another championship."

Elsewhere, Mark Teixeira said he was elated to join his childhood team as the New York Yankees welcomed the powerful first baseman.

"Pure joy," Teixeira, 28, said about the move, where he will follow boyhood idol Don Mattingly in patrolling first base.

The switch-hitting Teixeira, a winner of two Gold Gloves for his defence, batted a combined .308 with 33 homers and 121 RBIs in a season split between the Atlanta Braves and Los Angeles Angels.

The Yankees enticed the free agent with an eight-year contract worth US$180 million having already landed free-agent starting pitchers CC Sabathia (seven years/US$161 million) and A.J. Burnett (five years/US$82.5 million).


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