Right handed Glenn Sparkman has agreed to sign with the Korea Baseball Organization‘s Lotte Giants, according to Naver Sports (hat tip to reporter Sung Min Kim). The deal will be official once Sparkman passes an exam.
This is the second year in a row that Sparkman has signed with an international team. He signed a deal with Nippon Professional Baseball’s Orix Buffaloes last June but only posted an ERA of 6.88 over 17 innings. Before he went to Japan, Sparkman had signed a minor league deal with the Twins but saw no time in the active line-up prior to its release last May.
A veteran of four major league seasons, Sparkman posted a 5.99 ERA with the Blue Jays and Royals from 2017-2020, throwing all but one of his 180 1/3 career MLB frames in a Kansas City jersey . Despite an overwhelming ERA and strikeout totals as the Big Leaguer, Sparkman was much more solid in the Minors, with 2.88 ERA and 22.85 K% over 378 2/3 frames, although most of his higher strikeout rates came before his 2015 Tommy John operation.
With numbers so far pointing to a “Quad-A” career arc, Sparkman has the chance to reinvent himself in the KBO and at least pay a guaranteed salary while many free agents in a similar position wait for the lockout. Sparkman won’t turn 30 until May, so a solid performance with the Giants could open some new doors for a return to the MLB next winter or perhaps more lucrative opportunities in South Korea or Japan.