Go Woo-suk Ready for Roster Competition with San Diego Padres

SEOUL: South Korean pitcher Go Woo-suk, having signed a major league contract with the San Diego Padres, is preparing for a significant challenge in securing his place on the team. The deal, which includes two guaranteed years and an option for a third, also features a clause preventing the Padres from sending him to the minors without his consent.

According to Yonhap News Agency, who spoke to reporters at Incheon International Airport upon his return to Seoul, he doesn't consider himself a major leaguer yet despite his contract. "I am in a spot where I have to compete for my opportunity," Go stated. He expressed that only after winning a place on the roster would he truly feel like a major leaguer. His potential MLB debut could be even more momentous as it might occur in South Korea during the "Seoul Series" against the Los Angeles Dodgers in March.

Go, who played seven years with the LG Twins in the Korea Baseball Organization (KBO), was a top closer, leading all KBO relievers with 139 saves and a 2.39 ERA between 2019 and 2023. The Padres, having lost All-Star closer Josh Hader and setup man Nick Martinez to free agency, see Go as a potential key player in their bullpen. They also signed Yuki Matsui, a renowned Japanese closer, suggesting a competition for the closer role among Suarez, Matsui, and Go.

Reflecting on his journey, Go mentioned his preparation for the posting process and his decision to seek posting after the Twins won the championship and despite an injury-plagued season with modest numbers. The Twins, retaining rights to Go due to his departure via posting rather than free agency, will receive a posting fee from the Padres as part of the deal.

Expressing gratitude to the Twins for supporting his dream, Go also shared his excitement about his first visit to San Diego and interactions with Padres players like Yu Darvish, Joe Musgrove, and Manny Machado. Despite social media reactions to his name, Go remains positive, focusing on his opportunity with the Padres and the journey ahead in Major League Baseball.

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