Dodgers: Tyler White signs contract to play in KBO, per report

Tyler White of the Los Angeles Dodgers (Photo by Rob Leiter/MLB Photos via Getty Images)
Tyler White of the Los Angeles Dodgers (Photo by Rob Leiter/MLB Photos via Getty Images) /

Los Angeles Dodgers first baseman Tyler White is headed to the KBO.

Tyler White’s place in the Dodgers organization has been hanging by a thread since being designated for assignment in the offseason. While he was re-invited back to camp after failing to find a new home, he wasn’t included on the Dodgers’ 60-man player pool for the coronavirus-shortened season. Therefore, he will look to extend his baseball career in the KBO with the SK Wyverns, according to Daniel Kim of MBC Sports+.

White is mostly known to Dodgers fans as the representative on the team who was part of the 2017 Houston Astros squad that was caught cheating their way to a World Series championship. Los Angeles acquired the first baseman in a 2019 deadline deal, just before the revelations about the Astros became public.

As several of his new teammates voiced strong frustration with the Astros, White tried to remain neutral.

"“It’s tough,” White said in February via the Los Angeles Times. “I’ve gotten to know all these guys. It’s a tough situation. You don’t really know what to say. It’s hard to say. These guys are just a great group of guys. I don’t really know what to say other than that.”"

Tyler White struggled in his short time with the Dodgers

The 29-year-old appeared in only 12 games in 2019 for the Dodgers, struggling to adjust to his new environment, connecting on only one hit in 22 at-bats. He wasn’t doing much better in Houston, where he was batting .225 with an outrageous 29.2 strikeout rate before being shipped out of town.

Maybe it was all in the stolen signs, but White was an effective hitter two seasons ago for the Astros, when he slashed .276/.354/.533 in limited at-bats, hitting 12 home runs and driving in 42 runs.

The question is whether White can flourish given regular at-bats. Based on him finding his way back to Dodger camp after being designated for assignment, there doesn’t appear to be much demand for him on a major league roster this season, so it makes sense for the veteran infielder to take advantage of the opportunity provided to him in South Korea.

A picture posted to White’s Instagram account in November showed a trimmed down version of himself. The Dodgers reportedly helped him treat a thyroid issue that was contributing to his weight gain.

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Perhaps with improved health and new life in the KBO, he can put up impressive enough numbers to make his way back to the major leagues next season.