According to a post from the Japan Times publication, 2012-14 Smokies pitcher Dae-Eun Rhee has signed a contract with the Japanese Pacific League’s Chiba Lotte Marines baseball team. Compensation is reportedly equivalent to $450,000 dollars per the Japan Times post, which can be read here.
Over his three seasons with the Smokies, Rhee tallied a 19-13 record and 4.00 ERA (136 ER in 306.1 IP) in 56 appearances, all but three of which were starts. The 306.1 innings are the most of any Smokies pitcher since the club has been affiliated with the Chicago Cubs (2007), while Rhee also ranks tied for first in victories with Eric Jokisch and tied for fifth in strikeouts (174).
This past season the right-hander posted a 5-4 mark and 3.27 ERA (38 ER in 104.2 IP) in 18 games (16 starts) before being promoted by the Cubs to Triple-A Iowa. He South Korea native finished his 2014 campaign in Iowa, compiling a 3-2 clip and 3.75 ERA (20 ER in 48.0 IP).
Chiba Lotte Marines in 2014 posted a 66-76 record during the 2014 season, which ranked them fourth in the Japanese Pacific Coast League. Former Major Leaguer Tadahito Iguchi was listed on last year’s roster, while other notable alums including outfielder Julio Franco, pitcher Hideki Irabu and infielder Tsuyoshi Nishioka.