MLB player Andrew Albers could be headed to South Korea
North Battleford pitcher wooed by Hanwha Eagles
After an impressive Major League Baseball debut with the Minnesota Twins, Andrew Albers might be heading to Asia.
Albers' agent confirms the North Battleford player has been approached to play with the Hanwha Eagles in the Korea Baseball Organization for a year.
Last year, Albers wowed the Twins in his debut game, making national news when he pitched eight and 1/3 scoreless innings. The next game, he pitched a complete shutout.
Albers said he's excited by the prospect of playing in Korea.
"It'd be a really neat experience," he said. "It would probably be something that would be a lot of fun, to try and go and play baseball on a completely different continent."
Albers' agent Blake Corosky says there are a number of reasons why Korea is a good fit.
"We're talking about a young man who's never earned more than $25,000 in any league playing professional baseball until last year," he said. "So, the monetary side is something to consider for sure."
Corosky says the move would also make Albers a free agent, something that wouldn't happen with the Twins until 2019.
On the flipside, he says his client has a lot to offer the South Korean team.
"Andrew's a little bit older of a young man, has sort of been though some adversity already," he said. "And there's no real worry, as far as they're concerned, about going over there and competing almost immediately."
It's not a done deal just yet. The Eagles still need to come to an agreement to buy out his contract with the Twins. However, Corosky says it's looking positive.
"Andrew has basically said he's willing to go, it does make sense, and the Twins have been absolutely tremendous with us as far as understanding why we may consider something like this," he said.
As far as playing in Korea, Albers imagines the fundamentals of the game are still the same.
"I'm sure the bases are 90-feet apart, and the mound's still 60-feet, six inches," he said. "Those are the important things, and in that regard, baseball doesn't change too much."
Albers is heading to Minneapolis to accept a Minor League Pitcher of the Year Award. He'll also be attending Twins Fest, a chance for Minnesota fans to meet players.