S. Korean pitcher, club fail to agree on MLB bid

November 24, 2014

Another report says the Texas Rangers, not the Twins, came out on top in the bidding for Yang Hyeon-jong

Yang Hyeon-jong (Yonhap)

Yang Hyeon-jong (Yonhap)

SEOUL (Yonhap) — For the second straight day on Monday, the South Korean baseball club Kia Tigers and their posted left-hander Yang Hyeon-jong failed to narrow their differences over accepting a bid from a Major League Baseball (MLB) club.

The Tigers last week posted the pitcher for big league clubs, and the Korea Baseball Organization (KBO) notified them of the highest bid on Saturday.

There are conflicting reports as to which team won the bidding. An informed industry source told Yonhap News Agency on Sunday that the Minnesota Twins had won the bid for Yang. Earlier, the St. Paul Pioneer Press first reported that the Twins had emerged as the winner.

On Monday, however, another report surfaced that the Texas Rangers, not the Twins, had come out on top in the bidding for the pitcher and that the Rangers put in more than $1.5 million to beat out the Twins.

The identity of the top bidder will be officially announced only if the Tigers accept the bid.

The Tigers were given four business days in which to decide whether they will accept the bid. The KBO said it plans to inform MLB of the Tigers’ decision by 7 a.m. Friday.

If the Tigers accept the bid, then Yang and the highest bidder will have 30 days to work out a contract. If not, Yang will be off the market and won’t be eligible for posting until Nov. 1, 2015.

Yang has asked the team to accept the bid so that he could pursue his dream of playing in the majors, while the Tigers, apparently not pleased with the amount of the winning bid, haven’t budged.

The two sides also met on Sunday but their talks went nowhere.

An official with the Tigers said that while Yang understands the team’s plight, he said he’d still like a chance to pitch in the big leagues. The Tigers, meanwhile, “have more reasons to keep him than to let him leave for the majors,” the official added.

“We still have some time left and we will take more time to think about the situation,” the official added.

Though the exact amount of the winning bid hasn’t been announced, it’s reportedly lower than the US$2 million that another South Korean pitcher, Kim Kwang-hyun, garnered from the San Diego Padres earlier this month.