Korean left-handed pitcher Kwang-Hyun Kim holds up a sign during a press conference announcing the St. Louis Cardinals have signed him to a two-year contract Tuesday at Busch Stadium in St. Louis. Photo by Bill Greenblatt/UPI | License Photo
Dec. 17 (UPI) -- The St. Louis Cardinals signed Korean left-handed pitcher Kwang-Hyun Kim to a two-year contract, the team announced.
The Cardinals introduced Kim during a press conference Tuesday. The pitcher spent the last few days in St. Louis getting a physical and negotiating contract terms until an agreement was finalized Tuesday afternoon. Financial terms of the deal weren't disclosed.
"It's an exciting day for the Cardinals," Cardinals president of baseball operations John Mozeliak told reporters. "As I think about our time and the success that we've had using the Asian markets to improve our club, I think you all know and understand that we've had a lot of success bringing players over.
"[Kim] is someone who had a lot of desire to come and play here in the states, and he had a lot of success over in Korea."
Kim spent the last 12 seasons with the SK Wyverns in the Korea Baseball Organization. He posted a 17-6 record with a 2.51 ERA and 180 strikeouts across 190 1/3 innings in 31 games (30 starts) in 2019.
The 31-year-old pitcher underwent Tommy John surgery and missed the entire 2017 season, but he returned and recorded a 2.98 ERA in the 2018 campaign. Over his 12 seasons in the KBO, he had a 3.27 ERA and 7.8 strikeouts per nine innings.
Kim is expected to compete for a spot in the Cardinals' starting rotation, which is projected to include Jack Flaherty, Adam Wainwright, Dakota Hudson and Miles Mikolas. Austin Gomber, Carlos Martinez, Daniel Ponce de Leon and Alex Reyes are among the pitchers competing for the fifth spot in the rotation.