A $10.4 billion annual jackpot? No trade and a DFA…”I was a success story from Korea.”

“He was an interesting success story for the current Seattle Mariners front office.”

Chris Flexen, 29, a KBO reverse export myth, was designated for assignment (DFA) by Seattle on Aug. 28. He was designated for assignment after failing to live up to his contract. Flexen signed a two-year, $4.75 million deal with Seattle ahead of the 2021 season, and after pitching more than 300 innings in both the 2021 and 2022 seasons, he earned an $8 million contract extension for 2023. He should have been able to fulfill the duties of a starter to match his skyrocketing salary, but he didn’t. In 17 games (four starts) this season, he went 4-4 with a 7.71 ERA in 42 innings pitched. He was relegated to the bullpen and used as a long reliever, but his performance was so poor that Seattle was forced to find a replacement.

MLB.com analyzed Flexen’s $8 million contract this year, and the Mariners should have been looking to trade him. They didn’t think he was a starter worth the money, and they didn’t have high pitching expectations heading into the season. In addition, Seattle has a lot of depth in the minors for the long term. That’s why Flexen was considered a strong trade candidate before the season.

As MLB.com notes, “But Seattle was unable to find a taker for Flexen during the offseason and even during spring training. Now, the club will DFA him, and he’ll likely find an opportunity to play elsewhere.

Flexen was Seattle’s biggest success story in 2020, when the minor leagues were shut down due to COVID-19. Seattle had to rely almost exclusively on video to identify players playing overseas during the pandemic, and Flexen was one of the players who stood out. In 2020, Flexen started 21 games for Doosan with an 8-4 record, 116⅔ innings pitched, 132 strikeouts, and a 3.01 ERA. The consensus is that he would have been even better had he not been sidelined by a batted ball injury.스포츠토토

MLB.com wrote, “Flexen, who played for Doosan in South Korea in 2020, was the most intriguing success story to come out of the current Seattle front office. He earned a two-year, $4.75 million contract ahead of the 2021 season almost solely on video. Seattle’s scouting staff was unable to travel overseas due to the pandemic, as were other clubs.

“But the strategy paid off in a big way. Flexen was Seattle’s Pitcher of the Year in 2021, and the team went 22-9 in his starts. Flexen went 14-6 with a 3.61 ERA in 179⅔ innings that year, striking out 125 and walking 40. His 15 quality starts were tops on the team.

But now he’s lost power on the mound. His fastball has dipped into the low 90s, and his changeup has been shaky. Seattle manager Scott Servais said, “Flexen can’t overpower hitters with a 95-mile-per-hour fastball or any other weapon. It’s all about command and working the count in your favor. His stuff is a little different than it was when he first came to the team.”

Seattle general manager Justin Hollander hopes that Flexen can develop into a major league pitcher again with his new team. “We thought it would be better for both of us to find a team where he could get into a consistent routine and start,” Hollander said. It’s hard for a guy who’s been a starter for most of his career to come out of the bullpen and throw uncertain pitches,” Hollander said, adding that he believes Flexen has the ability to bounce back if he can find a team that allows him to start again.

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