TUESDAY: The Kia Tigers announced that they have rejected the winning bid for Yang, as was first reported (in Korean) by San Kang on Twitter (h/t: Dan Kurtz of MyKBO.net).
As a result, there may end up being no certain resolution as to whether it as the Twins or Rangers who ultimately posted the highest bid. Regardless of which club won the bidding, Yang won’t be jumping to Major League Baseball until next offseason at least. He can be posted once again next November.
However, as Jeeho Yoo of the Yonhap News Agency in Korea tweets, Yang will be eligible to jump to Japan’s Nippon Professional Baseball in 2015 if the Tigers let him. Yoo also tweets that Yang can be eligible for unrestricted free agency following the 2016 season, at which point he wouldn’t need to be posted to sign with a Major League club.
MONDAY, 7:15am: The Rangers haven’t been told they’re the high bidders for Yang, MLB.com’s T.R. Sullivan reports.
SUNDAY,10:54pm: The Rangers, not the Twins, won the bidding for Yang, FOX Sports’ C.J. Nitkowski tweets. The fee was about $1.5MM, and Kia could opt to keep Yang. A previous report from Korea had indicated that the Rangers had posted the top bid.
9:10pm: Berardino now tweets that the Kia Tigers haven’t officially decided whether to accept the top bid for Yang, and MLB doesn’t notify the top bidder until the bid is accepted.
12:29pm: Jeeho Yoo of Yonhap News hears from an informed baseball source that the Twins have in fact won the bidding. The value of the Twins’ bid has not been announced and sources have thrown out estimates ranging from $700K to ~$1.5MM.
Both the Kia Tigers and Yang are disappointed with the size of the bid, but the pitcher is pushing the Tigers to accept it so that he can pursue his dream of pitching in the majors. The team has previously said that it would accept a bid for Yang as long as it was of “a reasonable amount,” but never specified the monetary figure. The KBO has said that it will inform MLB of the Tigers’ decision by 4pm CT on Friday, November 28th.
10:51am: The Twins are insisting that they haven’t been told they’ve won the bidding for Yang, according to Darren Wolfson of 1500 ESPN (on Twitter).
SATURDAY, 10:18am: The Twins have won the bidding for Korean lefty Hyeon-jong Yang and are nearing agreement on a deal, Mike Berardino of the Pioneer Press writes. The Kia Tigers posted Yang earlier this week. The Twins have a 30-day negotiating window with Yang.
Yang, who will be 27 in March, posted a 4.25 ERA with 8.6 K/9 and 4.0 BB/9 in 165 innings in Korea in 2014. Those numbers don’t sound that impressive at first, but each team scores an average of 5.63 runs per game in the offense-heavy KBO, far higher than in the Majors, and Yang’s season earned him the KBO’s equivalent of the Cy Young award. Yang is viewed as a mid-rotation starter with No. 2 starter upside, the New York Daily News’ Mark Feinsand reports. Yang has a smooth delivery and throws 92-95 MPH.
Feinsand had named the Yankees, Cubs, Red Sox, Giants and Astros as teams that could have interest in Yang. The Red Sox also reportedly had interest. The Padres recently won the bidding for another KBO pitcher, Kwang-hyun Kim, for $2MM, although the top bid for Yang was expected to cost more.
The Twins were expected to pursue starting pitching this offseason, and Yang should give them an option to accompany Phil Hughes, Kyle Gibson and Ricky Nolasco. Twins starters posted a league-worst 5.06 ERA in 2014.