6:07pm: The Orioles will save roughly $4.3MM in salary and expenses by releasing Yoon, Eduardo A. Encina of the Baltimore Sun reports (Twitter link). Yoon’s camp first sought a release last month and gave up his remaining MLB salary to obtain it, MASNsports.com’s Roch Kubatko reports (Twitter links).
5:22pm: The Orioles have released right-hander Suk-min Yoon, according to the team’s public relations department (via Twitter). The move allows Yoon to sign a contract with the Kia Tigers of the Korean Baseball Organization. Yoon will earn $8.2MM over four years with the Tigers according to a Yonhap News report, which is the largest contract even given to a free agent by a KBO team.
News broke earlier today that Yoon and the Orioles were working towards ending their relationship after Yoon didn’t report to the team’s minor league Spring Training camp over the weekend. Yoon was reportedly disappointed over not receiving an invitation to the Major League camp, which may have been the final straw between the two sides.
Yoon signed a three-year, $5.575MM deal with the Orioles in February 2014 that could’ve been worth as much as $13.075 if he’d reached all of his contract incentives. Instead, Yoon spent the entire 2014 season at Triple-A Norfolk, posting a 5.74 ERA, 2.58 K/BB rate and 6.3 K/9 over 95 2/3 innings (18 of Yoon’s 23 appearances were starts). He was outrighted off Baltimore’s 40-man roster last August.
Financial details of the transactions weren’t released, but the Orioles still owe Yoon $4.15MM through the end of the 2016 season. It’s possible Yoon and agent Scott Boras could’ve waived the remaining salary to facilitate a release, or the Kia Tigers could’ve sent Baltimore some money, though this is just speculation on my part.
Yoon spent his first nine professional seasons with the Kia Tigers, posting a few outstanding seasons as a starter but also seeing significant time in the bullpen. MLBTR’s Tim Dierkes profiled Yoon in October 2013, noting that there was some question about whether or not the righty would fit into North American baseball as a starter or a reliever.