San Diego Padres bid $2 million for pitcher Kim Kwang-hyun

November 11, 2014

Kim Kwang-hyun SEOUL (Yonhap) — The San Diego Padres have submitted a bid of US$2 million for the right to negotiate with South Korean pitcher Kim Kwang-hyun, a report claimed Wednesday.

Citing anonymous sources, Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports tweeted earlier Wednesday, Korean time, that the Padres won the bidding war for the posted left-hander among Major League Baseball(MLB) clubs. Kim’s current South Korean club, the SK Wyverns, were informed of the result of the MLB-wide silent auction on Tuesday, and were given four business days in which to accept the bid.

Upon receiving the news of the bid earlier Tuesday, the Wyverns said the amount of money submitted was lower than what the team had hoped, and that they would take their time to decide whether to accept the bid.

The KBO has asked the Wyverns to make their conclusion by 6 p.m. Friday, so that it can inform MLB of that decision by 7 a.m. Saturday, Korean time.

Following Rosenthal’s tweet, an official with the Wyverns said the team will not announce the amount of the bid before it reaches a conclusion on whether or not to accept the bid. A source close to Kim said, however, that the winning bid was indeed $2 million.

However, both MLB and the Korea Baseball Organization (KBO) will only officially announce the team with the highest bid if the Wyverns decide to accept the bid.

If the Wyverns accept it, the winner of the bidding war will have an exclusive right to negotiate a deal with Kim for 30 days. If the team and the player reach an agreement, then the Wyverns will keep the money submitted in the bid.

If the Wyverns reject the bid, Kim will be taken off the market and will stay with the Wyverns next season.

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

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

The Wyverns also said they would accept a bid from an MLB team only if they feel the money is right, without specifying how much they were looking for.

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.

The Dodgers bid more than $25.7 million dollar to negotiate with Ryu. The bid for Kim, if accepted, would be the second highest amount submitted for a South Korean player.

In 2009, right-hander Choi Hyang-nam was posted and the St. Louis Cardinals bid $101 for him. Choi’s KBO club, the Lotte Giants, accepted it, but Choi signed a minor league deal and never reached the majors.

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.

Quetions remain as to whether Kim can contribute immediately at the big league level. Some scouts have said he’s ready for MLB, but others have disagreed, 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.