Is the Big One Coming?

October 4, 2013

Super Agent Boras after Japan-based Korean Slugger Lee Dae-ho

By Lee Kyutae

Lee Dae-ho is a 2-time triple crown winner in Korea.

Lee Dae-ho is a 2-time triple crown winner in Korea.

Soon to be free agent Korean baseball player Lee Dae-ho, 31, reportedly has been approached by the management company of ‘Super Agent’ Scott Boras, raising the expectation that the slugger could soon be coming to America.

Cha-ho Lee, 34, a sports agent and an older brother of the Orix Buffaloes player in the Japanese league, told Yonhap News Agency on Thursday that Al Chun, director of Asian operations at the Boras Corporation, has met the player “a few times in Japan.” He said, “Dae-ho feels bad about this matter being out in the public when he is still under contract with his Japanese agent (and attorney) Shigeyuki Mito” and stressed that nothing has been signed.

He then pointed out, “His contract, both with his agent and the club, will expire as the season ends, and the club holds the option.”

The Buffaloes originally had wanted to sign Lee to a 3-year contract but settled for a 2-year contract with a club option for the third year.

Lee’s regular season ends on the 13th and he will weigh three options – staying with Orix, signing with another Japanese club or moving on to the Major League.

Boras Corporation’s Chun was more specific. He said he went over to Japan three times to discuss an agent contract with Lee. “He is drawing the interest of MLB scouts, which must mean there is a team out there that wants to sign him,” he reasoned.

Chun went on to confirm that he hasn’t signed Lee yet and added “negotiation hasn’t been easy.”

Boras Corporation also represent Hyun-Jin Ryu of the Los Angeles Dodgers and Suk-Min Yoo of the KIA Tigers.

Lee is enjoying a solid second season with the Buffaloes. He is hitting .307 with 24 home runs and 89 RBIs as of Thursday. Last year, he put up a .286 average with 24 home runs and a Pacific League-leading 91 RBIs. Before that, he played for the Lotte Giants in the Korea Baseball Organization (KBO) from 2001 to 2011, winning two batting Triple Crowns and taking 2010 MVP honors.

Listed as a 6-4, 255-pound corner infielder, Lee’s main obstacle may be his size. He may not be fluid enough to play third or move to the outfield and does not project to hit for enough power for his size or hit for high-enough average to be penciled in as an everyday first baseman or designated hitter.

 

 

 

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