Byung Ho Park joins Twins

The Minnesota Twins signed Korean slugger Byung Ho Park to a four-year, $12 million contract Tuesday.

The Twins won the negotiating rights to the 29-year-old first baseman last month with a bid of $12.85 million.

The Twins' winning bid was the second-largest bid ever paid to negotiate with an Asian position player, behind the $13 million the Seattle Mariners paid for Ichiro Suzuki.

Park hit 105 home runs over the past two seasons in the Korea Baseball Organization. He had a .343 batting average with 53 homers, 146 RBIs and 10 stolen bases last season and is a former teammate of Pittsburgh Pirates infielder Jung Ho Kang. The 6-foot-1, 194-pounder has a career .951 on-base-plus-slugging percentage in nine professional seasons in the KBO.

A two-time MVP of the KBO, Park has recorded 50 homers in consecutive seasons and has posted 100 or more RBIs in four straight seasons, averaging nearly 85 walks during that period.

With the Twins pushing for current designated hitter Miguel Sano to play left field, the club could use Park at designated hitter and first base on days when Joe Mauer needs off.