Right-hander Héctor Noesí is joining the Marlins organization on a minor league deal, according to Jon Heyman of Fancred. He will receive an $800,000 salary this season if called up to the major league team, plus the opportunity to earn substantially more through performance incentives. The club hasn’t confirmed yet.
Turning 32 next weekend, Noesí is the dictionary definition of “journeyman.” Originally signed by the Yankees in 2004(!), he was traded cross country to the Mariners after his rookie season. He bounced around to the Rangers and then the White Sox. He made his final appearance for them on June 15, 2015.
But that’s where things really got interesting. Over the past three seasons with the Kia Tigers of the Korea Baseball Organization, Noesí was a workhorse: 582.1 IP, 3.79 ERA, 452 K, 1.33 WHIP. Keeping with the same mascot theme, he recently thrived with Tigres del Licey of the Dominican Winter League, posting a 21-to-2 strikeout-to-walk ratio in his five starts. That bumped him up to 607 1⁄3 innings pitched since the start of 2016; the only MLB starters with a higher total in that span are Max Scherzer, Justin Verlander, Corey Kluber and Rick Porcello.
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To the people of South Korea and the Kia Tigers fan: I appreciate the consideration and welcome you showed me during my days in South Korea. I certainly appreciate the opportunity I had, as well as all the emotions experienced and the satisfaction of the duty fulfilled. I feel very satisfied with the love and support that you gave me. Living in South Korea was an opportunity to learn, that allowed me to meet a beautiful civilization and one of the most ancient of the world. I will keep the memory of having played for one of the euphoric baseball fanatics that could have lived. Thanks for the affection shown!!! I will always carry them in my heart, A hug, El Patrón / The boss.. @always_kia_tigers ⚾️
Since graduating from prospect status, Noesí has seldom shown the ability to miss bats at a high rate. And during his walk year in the KBO, he struggled to keep balls in the park, a familiar issue dating back to his major league experience (65 home runs allowed in 395 1⁄3 MLB innings).
You should think of Noesí as a poor man’s Dan Straily—durability and clubhouse presence are his best assets.
Should the Marlins rotation suffer a couple injuries, particularly early in the 2019 campaign, the Dominican veteran could return to The Show.
Noesí’s signing does not preclude the franchise from adding bullpen arms. There is still a variety of options available for late-inning relief, though the free-agent market thinned slightly on Thursday with multiple reports indicating that Adam Ottavino (Yankees) and Cody Allen (Angels) are taken.