Nexen Heroes to post Park Byung-ho for MLB clubs

October 28, 2015
Park Byung-ho, first baseman of the Nexen Heroes (Yonhap)

Park Byung-ho, first baseman of the Nexen Heroes (Yonhap)

SEOUL, Oct. 28 (Yonhap) — South Korean baseball club Nexen Heroes announced Wednesday they will post Park Byung-ho for Major League Baseball (MLB) teams this offseason.

The slugger will be posted next Monday with bids accepted until 5 p.m. Eastern Standard Time on Nov. 6, the Korea Baseball Organization (KBO) club said.

The Heroes will announce whether or not to accept the highest bid on Nov. 9.

Park has led the KBO in home runs and RBIs in the past four seasons, and he had 53 home runs and 146 RBIs — a single-season record — in 2015.

A late-blooming power hitter, Park, 29, is the first KBO player to have back-to-back 50-homer seasons, with 52 last year and 53 this year. The first baseman, who was voted the KBO’s MVP in 2012 and 2013, has attracted scouts from more than a dozen MLB clubs during the season.

Park is hoping to become the second Nexen player in as many offseasons to reach the big leagues via posting. In January this year, former Heroes’ shortstop Kang Jung-ho signed a four-year, $16 million deal with the Pittsburgh Pirates, after the Bucs put in a bid of $5 million. Kang is the first South Korean position player to sign an MLB contract after getting posted.

Kang and Park share the U.S.-based Octagon as their agency.

In 2012, left-hander Ryu Hyun-jin became the first South Korean player to make the jump, signing a six-year, US$36 million deal with the Los Angeles Dodgers, which bid $25.7 million for him.

Two other KBO players have expressed interest in jumping into the big league market this fall. Outfielder Son Ah-seop and infielder Hwang Jae-gyun, both of the Lotte Giants, have asked their club to post them. Since the league rules prevent teams from posting more than one player at a time, the Giants said they will put Son up for bids first. If Son fails to sign a contract, only then will the Giants be able to post Hwang.

A KBO player becomes eligible for posting after completing seven seasons or their equivalent. Once a player is posted, MLB teams can submit bids in a silent auction for the right to negotiate with him. If the player’s original KBO club decides to accept the highest bid, then that MLB club will have 30 days to work out a deal with the player.

If the player signs with that big league team, then his KBO club will pocket the posting fee. If the player and the MLB team can’t come to an agreement, the player will be taken off the market and won’t be eligible for posting until the following year.