12/06/07 12:10 PM ET
Dodgers officially sign Park
Righty gets Minor League deal with invite to big league camp
By Ken Gurnick / MLB.com
Park had agreed to a deal a month ago, but backed out to compete with the Korean National Team.
The Dodgers have been wildly successful in recent years salvaging pitchers off the scrap heap, and they hope the next one is Park, the 34-year-old South Korean, who began his career with the Dodgers in 1994.
Park definitely qualifies for the scrap heap, having pitched only one game in the Major Leagues in 2007, allowing seven runs in a four-inning start for the Mets. He spent the rest of the year getting hit hard in the Minor Leagues for the Mets and, after being released, for the Astros.
The right-hander enjoyed his greatest success in a six-year stint with the Dodgers, winning in double figures five of those seasons, the best one 2000, when he went 18-10 with a 3.27 ERA. After a 15-11 All-Star season in 2001 and with his agent seeking a $100 million contract, the Dodgers let Park leave through free agency and he signed a $65 million deal with Texas.
Park won 22 games with the Rangers and was traded to San Diego during the 2005 season, and in 2006 he was plagued by intestinal bleeding.
The Dodgers are hoping Park can join a list of reclamation projects that includes Giovanni Carrara, Wilson Alvarez, Tom Martin, Kelly Wunsch, Jose Lima, Takashi Saito, Aaron Sele and, this year, Rudy Seanez.
Ken Gurnick is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.