No MLB club bids for Lotte Giants’ Son Ah-seop

November 24, 2015
Son Ah-seop (AP Photo/Eugene Hoshiko)

Son Ah-seop (AP Photo/Eugene Hoshiko)

SEOUL (Yonhap) — No Major League Baseball (MLB) club has bid for South Korean outfielder Son Ah-seop, who was posted last week by the Lotte Giants, the top South Korean baseball league said Tuesday.

The Korea Baseball Organization (KBO) said it has informed the Giants of the news, with the 27-year-old now having the choice of entering contract talks with interested teams in Japan’s Nippon Professional Baseball (NPB) or returning to the Giants for at least one more season.

With that development, the Giants will likely post infielder Hwang Jae-gyun for MLB clubs sooner than expected.

Son is the second KBO player to be posted this offseason, after first baseman Park Byung-ho of the Nexen Heroes. Park drew a bid of US$12.85 million from the Minnesota Twins, and has until 5 p.m. Dec. 8, Eastern Standard Time (7 a.m. on Dec. 9 in South Korea), to reach a deal with the Twins.

One of the KBO’s most consistent contact hitters, Son batted .317 with 13 home runs, 54 RBIs and 11 steals in 116 games this year. He’s a career .323 hitter with an improving defense in right field, and has hit at least .300 in each of his past six seasons. He led the KBO in hits in 2012 and 2013.

He posted an on-base percentage of .406 this year and has a career mark of .398. Known for his ability to put the ball in play, Son’s career strikeout rate is 15.7 percent, with 555 strikeouts in 3,542 career plate appearances.

Son has averaged 12 home runs, 69 RBIs and 16 steals over the past five years. He has won four Golden Gloves, which are awarded to players based on their overall performances, not just their defense.