The Korea Herald


Samsung Lions sign ex-MLB, NPB player MacKinnon

By Yonhap

Published : Dec. 15, 2023 - 19:48

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Samsung Lions ( Samsung Lions' official website) Samsung Lions ( Samsung Lions' official website)

The Samsung Lions announced Friday they have acquired former major league infielder David MacKinnon.

MacKinnon, who also has experience in Japan, signed for US$1 million, the maximum amount for first-year foreign players in the Korea Baseball Organization (KBO). The one-year deal includes a $100,000 signing bonus.

MacKinnon, 29, was drafted by the Los Angeles Angels in the 32nd round in 2017 and made his major league debut with them in 2022. He was waived later in the same year and then picked up by the Oakland Athletics.

In 22 games that season, MacKinnon batted .140 with six RBIs.

MacKinnon logged 79 games in Triple-A in 2022 and spent the 2023 season with the Saitama Seibu Lions. He hit .259 with 15 home runs and 50 RBIs in 127 games for the Nippon Professional Baseball club.

The Samsung Lions said MacKinnon can handle both first base and third base on defense. He has also played second base, shortstop and left field in his minor league career.

MacKinnon will replace Jose Pirela in Samsung's lineup. KBO teams can each sign up to three foreign players, but with a maximum of two pitchers. Teams almost always carry two pitchers and one position player from overseas.

The Samsung Lions are trying to bring back ace David Buchanan for his fifth season here but have decided not to offer Taylor Widener a new contract for 2024.

Pirela batted .285 with 16 homers and 80 RBIs in 2023, down from a .342 batting average, 28 home runs and 109 RBIs from 2022.

MacKinnon is the second member of the 2023 Seibu Lions to sign with a KBO team this week, following pitcher Dietrich Enns, now a member of the LG Twins. (Yonhap)