How much is Yoon Suk-min worth?

October 30, 2013

Twins “fully engaged” in acquiring process for Korean right-hander

Durability appears to be the main question in setting his value

Yonhap Photo

Yoon Suk-min (Yonhap)

By Kyutae Lee

There seems to be enough Major League clubs interested in Korean right-hander Yoon Suk-min. Just how much they are willing to pay – and what he is willing to accept – remain to be seen, however.

Minnesota’s Pioneer Press report on Tuesday was a good example. The Minnesota Twins’ interest in Yoon was covered extensively, but the article didn’t exactly ooze excitement and can hardly be described as an endorsement.

The main concern appears to be Yoon’s durability. Slightly built at 6 feet and 187 pounds, most teams are not sure if Yoon can take the physical pounding of a 162-game season in the big league. That was the main reason Shin-Soo Choo was converted to an outfielder by the Seattle Mariners after they brought him to the United States as a pitcher. Choo is listed at 5 feet 11 inches and 205 pounds.

The 27-year old is also coming off a subpar season that was marred by a shoulder injury and a move to the bullpen; even his famous agent Scott Boras, in a recent interview with the New York Post, admitted Yoon’s is “not an overpowering arm.” Yoon’s fastball was reportedly down a tick or two this year from his usual 90-92 miles per hour range, but he makes up for that with a hard slider and an above-average changeup.

However, if Yoon is no longer a starter, just two years removed from his MVP season in Korea, the Twins wouldn’t figure to have nearly as much interest, considering their bullpen was a strength last season.

At any rate, the Twins say they are done scouting Yoon and appear to know exactly what they are going to offer. Twins general manager Terry Ryan has said “He’s got some talent,” and according to Twins vice president for player personnel Mike Krux Radcliff, they are “fully engaged” in the process of trying to acquire Yoon. Radcliff added, “We’ve watched him forever.”

What’s attractive about Yoon is that he would not require a posting fee like Hyun-Jin Ryu, and that he’s the youngest ‘established’ starting pitcher available from this year’s free-agent market.

For Yoon, getting a “justifying” offer might be a bigger issue, as his contract will no doubt be compared with Hyun-Jin Ryu’s $36 million, six-year deal with the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Another measuring stick would be Baltimore Orioles left-hander Wei-Yin Chen, a Taiwanese import, signed out of Japan before the 2012 season at age 26 for $11.1 million over three years. Chen has gone 19-18 with a 4.04 ERA in two years, plus a postseason win over the New York Yankees during the 2011 playoffs.

Yoon’s 13-strikeout performance video can be seen at http://www.cbssports.com/mlb/eye-on-baseball/24157284/twins-are-fully-engaged-in-market-for-korean-righty-sukmin-yoon

One Comment

  1. DI

    October 30, 2013 at 3:21 PM

    He is another good pitcher. Good !!

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