Oh gets work visa; expected to report on time

Longtime closer in Korea, Japan will serve as Cardinals' setup man in 2016

February 10th, 2016

ST. LOUIS -- Seung Hwan Oh, the South Korean reliever signed by the Cardinals last month, has received his work visa and is expected to report on Jupiter, Fla., on time for the start of Cardinals Spring Training.

Recent reports out of Oh's home country speculated that the 33-year-old may be delayed from traveling to the U.S. because of an extended visa application process. But he had his interview with South Korean officials late last week, and he has now received the necessary paperwork to travel.

• Cardinals in Asia: Oh just first step

The Cardinals signed Oh to a one-year agreement on Jan. 11, nearly seven years after first scouting him in the World Baseball Classic. Oh became the first Asian-born player to join the organization since So Taguchi in 2002, and he'll serve as a setup man ahead of closer Trevor Rosenthal.

It will be a change of roles for Oh, who logged 357 saves while playing professionally in Korea and Japan from 2005-15. He still ranks as the Korean Baseball Organization's career saves leader with 277, and he reached 100 saves in fewer games than anyone in the league's history.

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Oh, a gold medal winner in the 2008 Olympics, will be coming to Spring Training along with an interpreter the Cardinals have hired to assist with his cultural transition and mitigate the language barrier.