Phillies news: 5 former players set for overseas KBO season
3. Ben Lively, RHP — KBO Team: Samsung Lions
Unlike the first two players on this list, right-hander Ben Lively was not drafted by the Phillies; rather, the Cincinnati Reds in the fourth round of the 2013 amateur draft.
Eighteen months later in December 2014, Lively was dealt to Philadelphia in exchange for outfielder Marlon Byrd, who was coming off of a successful second stint with the Phillies organization after slugging 25 home runs and 85 RBI.
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Lively, 28, showed much promise in the minors, including going a combined 18-5 with a 2.69 ERA across 28 starts between Double-A. Reading and Triple-A Lehigh Valley in 2016. The Phillies promoted the Pensacola, Florida, native in June 2017, when he won his debut at home against the San Francisco Giants, allowing just one run, four hits and three walks across seven innings.
Over the right-hander’s final 19 appearances in a Phillies uniform before he was selected off waivers by the Kansas City Royals in September 2018, he would go just 3-9, including going 0-2 with a 6.85 ERA through five 2018 outings.
Lively was used solely as a reliever with the Royals, and had early success; across five appearances to finish the 2018 season, he allowed just one run through 6 2/3 innings, albeit allowing seven hits and five walks for a 1.800 WHIP. The Royals gave Lively just one relief appearance in 2019, when facing six batters he allowed three hits, three runs and one home run.
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His contract was purchased by the Arizona Diamondbacks in June 2019, but he never reached the majors again. That August, Lively signed a contract mid-season with KBO’s Samsung Lions; he was used as a starter again, and went 4-4 with a 3.95 ERA across nine starts.
In December. the Lions re-signed Lively to a one-year, $750,000 contract with $250,000 available in bonuses. Lively and Buchanan are now teammates with the Lions.