KBO asks MLB to post S. Korean left-hander Kim Kwang-hyun

November 3, 2014
Kim Kwang-hyun

Once Kim is posted, interested MLB clubs will have four business days in which to submit their bids in a league-wide silent auction. (Yonhap)

By Yoo Jee-ho

SEOUL (Yonhap) —  The Korea Baseball Organization (KBO) announced Monday it has asked Major League Baseball (MLB) to post a star Korean pitcher for interested big league clubs.

The KBO said the SK Wyverns asked it to inform MLB of the availability of their All-Star left-hander Kim Kwang-hyun for posting.

Once Kim is posted, interested MLB clubs will have four business days in which to submit their bids in a league-wide silent auction.

At the end of the bidding period, MLB will notify the KBO of the highest bid. The Wyverns will have four business days to either accept or reject the bid.

If the bid is accepted, the MLB club with the highest bid will have the exclusive right to negotiate with Kim for 30 days. If the team and Kim reach an agreement, the Wyverns will pocket the bid money.

Kim, 26, completed the equivalent of seven full seasons in 2014 to earn conditional free agency, a status that allows players to test overseas markets with their team’s approval.

Even before the start of the 2014 season, Kim had said he’d like to be posted for big league clubs this winter. The Wyverns granted Kim his wish and announced at a press conference last week that they would post Kim.

Kim is trying to become the second KBO player to reach the majors via posting after Ryu Hyun-jin, the left-handed starter for the Los Angeles Dodgers who made the jump in 2012.

Kim, a former KBO MVP, went 13-9 with a 3.42 ERA in 28 starts in 2014, bouncing back after struggling with injuries in recent years. He ranked among the top five in the Triple Crown categories of wins, ERA and strikeouts, and was one of only six starters to post an ERA under 4.00 in a year of massive offensive numbers.

Relying mostly on fastballs and sliders, Kim won 45 games from 2008 to 2010 and earned the league MVP honors in 2008 after leading the KBO with 16 wins and 150 strikeouts, ranking second with a 2.39 ERA.

He was held back by assorted injuries from 2011 to 2013, managing just 22 wins in that span.

Kim recently claimed he feels perfectly healthy and doctors have told him that he could pitch even more innings next year than the 173 2/3 he logged in 2014.

Big league scouts have mixed views on Kim, with some saying he’s ready for MLB and others saying he’d be better off honing his skills further in the minors and that he may be better suited as a relief pitcher in the majors.

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