Last week, the Chinese Professional Baseball League‘s Uni-President Lions announced the signing of right-handers Keury Mella and Logan Ondrusek (h/t on CPBL statistics). They join the former Rockies catcher Willin Rosario as former big league players who will join the Lions in 2022.
Mella has appeared in each of the last five MLB seasons, although he has never surpassed ten innings in any given year. The 28-year-old has made 21 appearances in relief, totaling 28 2/3 innings with 7.22 ERA balls. As a former Giants prospect, he was traded to the Reds on the side Adam Duval in July 2015 Mike Leak Act. Mella spent portions of three years in Cincinnati and has played with the Diamondbacks for the past two years.
Last season, Mella made two MLB appearances but spent most of the year in Triple-A, splitting the season between the D-Backs’ and Pirates’ top affiliates. The Dominican native had a 5.44 ERA over 48 triple-A innings in which he fanned 24.5% of opponents against a 9.9% walk rate. At the end of the season he chose Minor League Free Agency and will now be making his first commitment in an Asian professional league.
Ondrusek has a bit more experience in foreign leagues but this will be his first CPBL appearance. He was a common center defense option with the Reds from 2010-14 and also made a brief appearance with the Orioles in 2016. Overall, the Texas native has a 4.03 ERA in 277 MLB innings.
Since his time in Cincinnati, the 36-year-old (37 next month) has played for some time with Japan’s Nippon Professional Baseball’s Yakult Swallows. He’s bounced between a couple of triple-A clubs, independent ball and performed in the Mexican league. Ondrusek struck a minor league deal with the Giants late last season and eventually played nine games (including eight starts) with their top affiliate in Sacramento. He posted a 4.78 ERA there with a slightly below-average strikeout rate of 21.8% but a strong 6.9% walk percentage over 43 1/3 innings.