Taiwanese pitcher Kuo Hong-chih, who was released by the Seattle Mariners in spring training, has signed a minor league contract with the Chicago Cubs, the agency representing Kuo confirmed yesterday.
Kuo is to be paid US$20,000 a month, his agency said in a statement, but if he gets called up to the Cubs’ major league roster, he would be paid a base annual salary of US$800,000 and a roster bonus of US$400,000.
The 2010 All-Star would have a chance to make more in incentives based on how long he remains on the major league bonus roster and his number of appearances, the statement said.
Meanwhile, Kuo has already departed for the Cubs’ extended spring training base in Arizona, his agent, Alan Chang, said.
The Cubs are giving Kuo, who underwent the fifth elbow surgery of his career in October last year, plenty of time to get himself back into top shape, Chang said.
Once that happens, Kuo is expected to report to the Cubs’ Triple A farm club and make his debut there in the middle of this month at the earliest, Chang added.
Kuo was one of the league’s most dominant left-handed relievers in 2010 when he pitched for the Los Angeles Dodgers, posting a 1.20 ERA that set a club record.
Kuo thanked the Cubs for giving him another opportunity to pitch in the major leagues, as well as his fans, friends and family for supporting him at a time when his career in the US had seemingly come to an end.