Chan Ho Park Returns to Dodgers

With his Major League Baseball (MLB) career hanging by a thread, Park Chan-ho is heading back to where the magic all started. The 35-year-old South Korean said Thursday he signed a contract with the Los Angeles Dodgers, where he started his Major League career in 1994, and expected to join the team in spring camp.

Team 61, Park's domestic management agency, declined to reveal the terms of the deal, including whether it's a minor league contract or a split contract, which would provide Park a higher rate of pay if added to the Major League roster.

Park, in an entry in his Weblog, said his salary would be similar to a "rookie on the start."

"Dodgertown is the spring camp venue where I first started my Major League dreams," Park said. "The terms of the contract are similar to a rookie on the start, but the important thing is that I will be able to play for a team that I always missed."

It bears further watching whether Park, who always pitched better in the pitcher-friendly Dodger Stadium, can convince new manager Joe Torre that he is worthy of a spot on the Major League roster.

At best, Park could be an insurance player for the Dodgers should starters Jason Schmidt and Randy Wolf fail to return strong from injuries.

Park, who posted 113 wins in the majors, is now at the end of his playing career. His record over the past five years, after eight years with the Dodgers, includs New Orleans, Round Rock and the NY Mets in 2007:
year	team     w-l   era  gm  gs   in   h   bb   so
2002	Texas    9-8  5.25  25  25  146  154  78  121
2003	Texas	 1-3  7.58   7   7   30   34  25   16
2004	Texas	 4-7  5.46  16  16   96  105  33   63
2005	TX/SD	 4-7  5.46  30  29  155  180  80  113
2006	SDiego	 7-7  4.81  24  21  136  146  44   96  	
2007	NOrlns	 4-4  5.57   9   9   53   64  17   34
        RRock	2-10  6.21  15  15   84  100  24   70
        Mets	 0-1 10.88   1   1    4    6   2    4 
He just pitched one game for the New York Mets this year and gave up seven runs in four innings. He ended the season with the Houston Astros' Triple-A affiliate Round Rock Express and went 6-14 with a 5.97 ERA.

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