Yoon After Ryu?

October 18, 2013

MLB Paves Way for Yoon Suk-min to Sign in U.S. 

Yoon Suk Min was competive against MLB All-star studded Venezuela in 2009 WBC.

Yoon Suk Min was competitive against the MLB All-Star-studded Venezuelan team during the 2009 World Baseball Classic.

Major League Baseball (MLB) has officially asked the Korea Baseball Organization (KBO) for clearance to sign South Korean pitcher Yoon Suk-min.

The request marks the first formal administrative step required before a big league club can sign any player outside of the United States, although the 6-foot, 190-pound right-hander is already in the U.S. to discuss his future options with his agent Scott Boras.

According to KBO, MLB on Friday asked for Yoon’s official status, and was informed that Yoon, 27, is currently under contract with the Kia Tigers and will be eligible for free agency at the end of the ongoing postseason.

Under an agreement between MLB and the KBO, a MLB team interested in signing a KBO player must first request that the player’s status be reviewed through official league channels.

Yoon posted a 2.45 ERA, 17 wins, and 178 strikeouts over 172 1/3 innings to capture the triple crown in pitching and win the MVP trophy in 2011, but a shoulder injury has limited his free agency aspirations in recent years. Limited to 87 2/3 innings, he finished 2013 season with a 4.00 ERA and 3-6 record.

After the 2011 MVP season, he was eligible to be posted through a silent auction among interested MLB clubs, but the Tigers refused to provide their consent for the auction. Yoon also requested the team’s approval to pursue a major league contract after the 2012 season, but the Tigers declined again.

However, Yoon has now played nine years in KBO and will become an outright free agent after the postseason and does not require permission from the Tigers to sign elsewhere.

The three-time KBO All-Star has a career record of 73-59 with 44 saves and a 3.19 ERA in 303 appearances. In 1,129 innings pitched, he has struck out 949 batters and walked 345. Yoon throws fastball in the 90-92 miles-per-hour range and held the MLB All-Star-studded Venezuelan team to two runs over 6⅓ innings during the semifinals of the 2009 World Baseball Classic.

MLB scouts have concerns over Yoon’s durability, especially when comparing him to proven starters like Hyun-Jin Ryu of the Los Angeles Dodgers.

The Minnesota Twins, the Philadelphia Phillies, and the New York Yankees are rumored to be interested in Yoon.


One Comment

  1. DI

    October 20, 2013 at 6:59 AM

    He is great!