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KBO MVP Fedde signs with White Sox: reports

Dec. 6, 2023 - 10:48 By Yonhap
NC Dinos pitcher Erick Fedde poses with the trophy for the most valuable player award at the Korea Baseball Organization Awards ceremony in Seoul on Nov. 27. (Yonhap)

Erick Fedde, the reigning most valuable player award winner in South Korean baseball, has signed with the Chicago White Sox, US media reports claimed.

ESPN and other outlets reported Tuesday that Fedde has agreed to a two-year deal worth $15 million with the White Sox.

Fedde, 30, won the Korea Baseball Organization regular season MVP award for the NC Dinos this season, after winning the Triple Crown as the league leader with 20 wins, a 2.00 ERA and 209 strikeouts. The American right-hander became the first foreign pitcher to pull off that trifecta, and earned 102 out of 111 media votes to grab his MVP trophy in a landslide.

Fedde joins Eric Thames (2015) and Josh Lindblom (2019) as former KBO MVPs to return to Major League Baseball after a successful stint in South Korea. Fedde pitched for the Washington Nationals from 2017 to 2022, compiling a 21-33 record with a 5.41 ERA in 102 appearances, including 88 starts.

Fedde made $1 million this year, the maximum amount for all first-year foreign players in the KBO.

The Dinos said last week they'd made Fedde their biggest possible offer within the rules but couldn't match major league money.

KBO clubs can each sign up to three foreign players, but they can't spend more than $4 million on the trio in their combined salary. However, if a team re-signs a foreign player, the cap increases by $100,000 for every extra year.

Fedde dominated the KBO from start to finish on the strength of his sweeper, a variation of a slider with more horizontal break.

In his first six starts with the Dinos, Fedde went 4-1 with a 0.47 ERA in 38 innings. He struck out 48 and walked 10, while not allowing a run in four of those half-dozen outings.

Fedde maintained a sub-2.00 ERA through July, but a couple of rough outings in August saw his ERA balloon to 2.39 entering September.

Fedde went a perfect 4-0 and pitched to a 0.80 ERA over his final seven starts and ended the season with a 2.00 ERA.

Addressing his future after the MVP award ceremony in Seoul on Nov. 27, Fedde said, "I'm going to try to do what's best for me and my family for my career."

Fedde also thanked the Dinos organization and teammates, calling the latter "my brothers for life."

"NC will always have a special place in my heart no matter what happens," he said. "This organization has been so good to me, and I will always speak highly of them no matter what in the future." (Yonhap)