TORONTO – Canadian left-hander Andrew Albers, who made his big-league debut last season three years after pitching in independent ball, is on the verge of heading to South Korea, according to a source.
The Hanwha Eagles are negotiating a buyout for the native of North Battleford, Sask., with the Minnesota Twins, who boosted their rotation this off-season with the free-agent signings of Ricky Nolasco and Phil Hughes.
Once completed, Albers is expected to sign a one-year deal worth roughly $1 million.
Albers, 28, enjoyed a brilliant big-league debut Aug. 6, throwing 8.1 shutout innings in a 7-0 victory over the Kansas City Royals. He followed that up with a 3-0, two-hit shutout of the Cleveland Indians on Aug. 12, and finished the season 2-5 with a 4.05 ERA and 1.183 WHIP in 10 starts.
A 10th-round pick of the San Diego Padres in 2008, Albers had fallen out of pro baseball because of an arm injury before regaining his footing during a stint with the Quebec Capitales of the Cam-Am League in 2010.
The Twins signed Albers in March 2011 after a tryout, and he’s also pitched for the Canadian national team at the Pan Am Games and World Baseball Classic since.