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LG Twins sign ex-MLB infielder Rio Ruiz

10:15 December 28, 2021

By Yoo Jee-ho

SEOUL, Dec. 28 (Yonhap) -- The LG Twins announced Tuesday they have acquired former major league infielder Rio Ruiz.

The Korea Baseball Organization (KBO) club signed Ruiz to a one-year deal worth up to US$1 million, the maximum amount allowed for all first-year foreign players. Ruiz, 27, will make $600,000 in salary, $150,000 in signing bonus and up to $250,000 in incentives.

In this file photo from April 3, 2021, Rio Ruiz of the Baltimore Orioles throws to first to force out Kike Hernandez of the Boston Red Sox during the bottom of the third inning of a Major League Baseball regular season game at Fenway Park in Boston. (Yonhap)

A native of Covina, California, Ruiz was selected in the fourth round of the 2012 major league draft by the Houston Astros. He was traded to the Atlanta Braves in 2015 and made his big league debut with the club in 2016.

Ruiz later played for the Baltimore Orioles and the Colorado Rockies.

In 315 career big league games, Ruiz batted .212/.287/.357 with 28 home runs and 109 RBIs. In 428 games in Triple-A, Ruiz posted a .270/.337/.423 line with 43 home runs and 225 RBIs.

The Twins called Ruiz "an excellent defensive infielder" with gap power and a great eye at the plate.

In the majors, Ruiz spent most of his time at third base but also played at second base, first base and left field.

In 2021, the Twins let go of slugger Roberto Ramos, who had set a franchise record with 38 home runs in 2020 but struggled with injuries this year. His replacement, former major league slugger Justin Bour, homered only three times in 32 games and spent the bulk of his time in Korea in the minors.

With the Ruiz signing, the Twins have filled their foreign player quota for 2022. They newly acquired right-hander Adam Plutko on Dec. 10 and re-signed ace Casey Kelly for his fourth season in the KBO.

KBO clubs can sign up to three foreign players but no more than two pitchers.

Rio Ruiz, a new infielder for the LG Twins, poses for a photo after signing a one-year deal with the Korea Baseball Organization club, in this photo provided by the Twins on Dec. 28, 2021. (PHOTO NOT FOR SALE) (Yonhap)

jeeho@yna.co.kr
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