DJ Peters Reportedly Nearing Deal With KBO’s Lotte Giants

Dec. 9: The Giants have announced a one-year deal with Peters, per MyKBO’s Dan Kurtz (Twitter link). He’ll receive a $600K base salary and can earn up to $80K worth of incentives.

Dec. 3: Outfielder DJ Peters is nearing agreement on a contract with the Lotte Giants of the Korea Baseball Organization, reports Daniel Kim (Twitter link). While Kim cautions the deal is not yet completed, he relays that it is “getting closer.”

Peters was recently outrighted off the Rangers’ 40-man roster. He didn’t have the requisite service time to elect free agency, but it’s not uncommon for MLB teams to grant players their release to pursue opportunities in a foreign professional league. In these instances, the player typically receives a better salary in the foreign league than they’d make spending the 2022 campaign in Triple-A — or even bouncing between the majors and the minors. To get to that point, Peters would have needed to play his way back onto Texas’ 40-man roster.

The 25-year-old (26 later this month) was long a prospect of some regard in the Dodgers’ farm system. Scouts credited the right-handed hitting Peters with big raw power and enough athleticism to play center field, but he struggled with strikeouts throughout his minor league tenure and had major questions about his hit tool.

That evaluation largely played out during the 2021 campaign, Peters’ first as a major leaguer. He popped 13 home runs in just 240 plate appearances between Los Angeles and Texas, sporting an impressive .224 ISO (slugging minus batting average). Yet the former fourth-round pick also fanned in 34.2% of his plate appearances en route to a .197 batting average. Paired with a tiny 5% walk rate, Peters simply made too many outs to be consistently productive. Altogether, his .197/.242/.422 line was around 29 percentage points below league average by measure of wRC+.

Assuming a deal is reached, Peters will spend the 2022 campaign with the Busan-based Giants. It’s not out of the question the Southern California native could pursue another opportunity in the United States down the line. Numerous players have landed guaranteed big league deals after putting together strong seasons in both the KBO and Japan’s Nippon Professional Baseball over the past few years, and Peters is young enough to be a desirable free agent a year or two from now if his performance merits.

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