When I saw the contract details for Woo-Suk Go's deal with the San Diego Padres, I was shocked. Of course, for a reliever from Korea as of yet unproven at the MLB level, I didn't expect Go to get Josh Hader-type money, but I also didn't expect him only to sign for 2 years, $4.5 million. The Cardinals were extremely active in the reliever market, so I expected them to make an offer that at least matched San Diego's (which they probably did). Unlike with Yuki Matsui, who the Cardinals were probably hesitant to give a 4-year deal to, there's no reason for them not to take a chance at Go at less than $3 million a year for 2 years.
It's clear from the contract details that Go preferred San Diego compared to other teams or he would've signed elsewhere for more money. For a 25-year-old reliever with pretty high upside, the Cardinals surely would be willing to take that chance on Go. However, due to location or comfortability, Go chose the Padres. Perhaps he coveted a West Coast market all along, or his familiarity with WBC teammate Ha-Seong Kim factored into his decision. We'll never really know.
Reliever performance is among the most volatile and difficult to predict in all of baseball. There's a chance Go becomes an All-Star, but there's also a chance he plays terribly and is released before the season ends. However, as one of the top closers in the KBO, I expect him to perform relatively well as a high-leverage option out of the bullpen. And for the affordable price the Cardinals could've signed him for, they'll certainly wish Go had chosen St. Louis instead of San Diego.