Blue Jays finalizing release of righty Lockett to complete KBO transfer

| January 8, 2021, 8:14 PM

January 8, 2021, 8:14 PM

TORONTO — The Toronto Blue Jays will finalize the release of Walker Lockett in the coming days to complete the right-hander’s transfer to the Korean Baseball Organization’s Doosan Bears, who announced his signing for $1 million on Friday.

A fee of $200,000 to secure his rights will go to the Blue Jays, who claimed the 26-year-old on waivers from the Seattle Mariners on Dec. 7. At the time, he had already been in discussions about the move overseas. After getting a sense of Toronto’s plans for him, Lockett decided to pursue that opportunity instead of remaining here.

Lockett, who has posted a 7.67 ERA in 54 games across parts of three big-league seasons with the Mariners, Padres and Mets, would likely have been a depth arm for the Blue Jays had he managed to finish the off-season on the 40-man roster.

His desire to join the Bears triggered a three-part negotiation: between him and the Blue Jays to gain assurance that they were willing to release him; between him and Doosan to finalize a contract; and between the two clubs to settle on a transfer fee.

Once the paperwork is finalized and Lockett’s release is finalized, the Blue Jays will have 39 players on their 40-man roster.

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