Colorado Rockies: Bridich says Oh to pitch for the Rockies in 2019
Last week, we reported in this article about how one of the Colorado Rockies newest relievers, Seunghwan Oh, spoke to South Korean media about leaving the Rockies and coming back to pitch in his native country. However, Rockies general manager Jeff Bridich clarified Oh’s comments recently that paints a different picture than what Oh’s comments sounded like.
Last Wednesday, Seunghwan Oh, 36, spoke to the media in South Korea and it sounded as if he was getting a bit homesick and wished to return to his homeland of South Korea to finish up his career.
“I am a bit exhausted after spending five seasons in Japan and the United States,” Oh said. “I feel like I want to return to the KBO while I still have the energy to help the team and pitch in front of home fans. I can’t make this decision alone. I’ll have to speak with my agency about the next season.”
The main thing that probably pops out to you is the “next season” part of the quote. That implies that he is/was contemplating returning to the Korean Baseball Organization (or KBO)…next season.
However, Rockies general manager Jeff Bridich shot down these comments on Monday (h/t Patrick Saunders of the Denver Post).
“From what we have been told, it was much ado about nothing regarding Oh,” Bridich said. “His comments to the Korean media were not specifically about 2019. It was more about ending his career there.
“Our understanding is that he has every intention of honoring his current contract.”
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The difference between Oh’s comments last week and Bridich’s comments this week seems to be a pretty sophisticated lingustical differentiation. Perhaps something was lost in translation or maybe even Oh’s mind has changed in the past week.
However, I wouldn’t be surprised if this comes up again this offseason with another development in the story but I think that it could be an interesting storyline/talking for the offseason.
Whether or not Oh stays with the Rockies, they will have to address the bullpen, which was a big disappointment in 2018 after Bridich and company spent north of a $100 million on three relievers, two of which had an ERA of around 6 or higher this past season.
If Oh does in fact leave the Rockies to go back to Korea, their bullpen situation will become even more dire.