Korea Baseball Organization Team Admits To Signing Pitcher To Illegal Multi-Year Deal
Korea Baseball Organization side Doosan Bears on Monday admitted to having once signed a pitcher to an illegal, multi-year contract, "potentially opening a can of worms in a league that has long faced allegations of turning a blind eye to similar practices," according to YONHAP. The team acknowledged that "they had inked pitcher Lee Hei-chun to a four-year deal" in December '10, when the left-hander returned from a two-year stint in Japan. Lee had made his KBO debut with Doosan in '98, and pitched for the Yakult Swallows in Japan in '09 and '10, "before coming back to the Bears." In '10, the Bears officially announced that they would sign Lee for 350M won for one season, along with 600M won in signing bonus and 150M won in incentives. However, a team official said on Monday that "Lee had actually signed for four years under the same financial terms." Under the KBO rules, "a player returning to his original team after spending time in a foreign league may only sign a one-year deal" (KOREA HERALD, 12/30).