Former KIA Tigers outfielder Preston Tucker (33) has been released by the San Diego Padres.
Jeff Sanders of the San Diego Union-Tribune reported on Friday (May 5) that Tucker was released. He was designated for assignment (DFA) during roster cuts at the trade deadline on Feb. 2 and was released when no team claimed him on waivers.
Tucker signed a minor league contract with San Diego last December. In 55 games with the Triple-A El Paso Chihuahuas, San Diego’s affiliate this year, he batted 2-for-9 with 11 home runs, 40 RBIs and a .999 OPS in 191 at-bats.
Midway through the season, Tucker emerged as a possible replacement for KBO teams. Despite rumors of a return to South Korea, Tucker remained in the United States and continued his quest for the major leagues. In mid-June, when he was set to opt out, the Padres added him to their 40-man roster and signed him to a major league contract, meaning a big league call-up was just around the corner.
However, he landed on the disabled list with plantar fasciitis and spent a month on the DL. He returned in July, but his batting pace slowed noticeably, going 1-for-39 (4-for-49) with one home run and four RBIs for a .505 OPS in 11 games, and that was the end of his time in San Diego.
Tucker, a left-handed hitting outfielder, made his major league debut with the Houston Astros in 2015. He bounced between the Atlanta Braves and Cincinnati Reds for three seasons through 2018, hitting .243 with 23 home runs, 68 RBIs and a .684 OPS in 600 at-bats (133 for 243).
In 2019, he came to the KBO as an in-season replacement for KIA. He joined the team in May, batting 3-for-1 in 95 games (357-for-111) with nine home runs, 50 RBIs, and an OPS of .860. In his second year, 2020, he transformed into a behemoth. In 142 games, he batted .306 (166-for-542) with 32 homers, 113 RBIs, and a .955 OPS, earning another contract.
However, he struggled in 2021, batting just .237 (111-for-468) with nine homers, 59 RBIs and a .684 OPS in 127 games, and was not re-signed. He spent last year with Atlanta’s Triple-A Gwinnett Strippers and again this year in the minors, but his dreams of returning to the majors were not realized and he will look for his next opportunity. 스포츠토토