Seattle Mariners

Ex-Giants outfielder Mac Williamson agrees to contract in South Korea

Ex-Giants outfielder Mac Williamson agrees to contract in South Korea

SAN FRANCISCO -- After a brief cameo with the Seattle Mariners, Mac Williamson is heading much further from his first big league home. 

Williamson agreed to a deal to play with the Samsung Lions of the KBO League and will spend the remainder of his season in South Korea, NBC Sports Bay Area has learned. The 29-year-old was leaving Tuesday to meet up with the team based in Daegu, South Korea.  

Williamson has spent most of his professional life with the Giants and got a chance to win an outfield job earlier this season. After struggles at the plate, he was designated for assignment and caught on with the Mariners. Following 25 games with Seattle, Williamson was DFA'd for a second time and opted for a different opportunity overseas. 

The Lions already employee former big leaguer Darin Ruf. According to Sung Min Kim of FanGraphs, they will be releasing American pitcher Justin Haley to clear a roster spot for Williamson. The KBO is a 10-team league in South Korea known for being hitter-friendly (and bat-flip-friendly) and can often be a lucrative destination for former MLB players. 

[RELATED: Giants reportedly talking "need-for-need" trade with Rays]

Williamson is the second 2019 Giant to end up in Asia. Yangervis Solarte arrived in Japan in recent days to play for the Hanshin Tigers. 

A's center fielder Ramón Laureano selected as AL Player of the Week

A's center fielder Ramón Laureano selected as AL Player of the Week

Ramón Laureano had himself a week, and MLB made sure to reward him.

The A's center fielder was named AL Player of the Week for July 15-21, as he hit .542 (13-for-24) with 10 runs, six doubles and two home runs as he led the A's to a 4-2 record during the span.

Laureano reached base in all six games and ranked first among AL players in runs, hits, doubles, extra-base hits and batting average. He ranked second in on-base percentage (.577) and slugging percentage (1.042).

Oh, and he did this as well.

Laureano is the third A's player to win the award in 2019, joining pitcher Mike Fiers (May 12) and shortstop Marcus Semien (June 10) this season.

[RELATED: A's reportedly inquiring on trades for Stroman, Minor]

On the year, Laureano is slashing .284/.334/.518 with 20 home runs and 53 RBI while playing his usual Gold-Glove caliber defense in center.

Not too shabby.

Homer Bailey impresses new teammates, bests Mariners in A's debut

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USATSI

Homer Bailey impresses new teammates, bests Mariners in A's debut

OAKLAND -- Homer Bailey hadn't taken the mound for 13 days when he was asked to make his A's debut Wednesday afternoon at the Coliseum. No problem.

The veteran right-hander shook off some early rust before turning in a strong outing, leading Oakland to a 10-2 win over the Seattle Mariners.

"I was kind of a little rusty early and then I was able to kind of find that tempo where I wanted to be," Bailey explained Wednesday. "The way that this team fights for nine innings is outstanding, so it definitely gives you energy, and you know if you can keep it close, they're going to score runs and play great defense for nine."

Bailey allowed two runs on four hits in the second inning, but after that, he completely shut the Mariners down. The 33-year-old ended up going six innings, allowing just the two runs on seven hits, with six strikeouts and no walks.

"I thought he did really well," A's manager Bob Melvin said. "For a guy who hadn't pitched in basically two weeks, to go out there -- I wouldn't say he was rusty -- they got some hits off him early in the game, but then (he) shut it down when (he) needed to. Sometimes there are nerves with a new team and some expectations. ... I thought it was a really good start for him."

The A's acquired Bailey from the Kansas City Royals on Sunday, hoping he would bolster their starting rotation, which has been decimated by injuries and Frankie Montas' PED suspension. So far, so good.

"They're so welcoming," Bailey said of his new teammates. "Just from top to bottom, it's been a good experience so far."

Last season was a rough one for Bailey, who finished with a 1-14 record and a 6.09 ERA in Cincinnati. This year didn't start much better, as his first 12 starts with the Royals resulted in a 6.05 ERA.

But it appears that something has clicked since then. In his last seven starts, Bailey is 4-0 with a 2.85 ERA.

"It's a combination of things," Bailey said of the turnaround. "It's a team effort, it's good defense, it's a catcher being invested in what you're doing, it's communication between yourself and a pitching coach. It's a lot of things."

Bailey threw 54 of his 87 pitches for strikes, using a variety of pitches along the way. His variety impressed his new manager. 

"He's got a really good split," Melvin said. "I didn't realize how good it was. And then as the game went along, he started using his slider and curveball a little bit more. He does have a true four-pitch mix."

[RELATED: Chapman's ankle 'didn't feel right,' forces him to exit Wednesday's game]

For the season, Bailey is now 8-6 with a 4.69 ERA. If he can perform anywhere near as well as he did on Wednesday, the A's should be in good shape. It certainly helps when the offense provides 10 runs on six homers.

"That's obviously a comfort, the fact that they can score so many runs," Bailey said. "But I feel like what makes winning teams and what probably helps these guys is not just their offensive production, but they play both sides of the baseball. ... To see the way that they play both sides of the ball and the energy that they bring for the entire game is really spectacular."