Suk-Min Yoon Rumors
The Mariners will interview Dodgers third base coach Tim Wallach for their open managerial job, CBS Sports' Jon Heyman writes. Wallach joins Tigers hitting coach Lloyd McClendon, Giants bench coach Ron Wotus, Athletics bench coach Chip Hale and Padres bench coach Rick Renteria as Mariners candidates, and Heyman notes that there may be others. Wallach has also interviewed for the Tigers' managerial job. Here are more notes from around the big leagues.
- The Twins remain keenly interested in Korean pitcher Suk-Min Yoon, Mike Berardino of the St. Paul Pioneer Press reports. "We've watched him forever," says Twins vice president of player personnel Mike Radcliff. Yoon has battled shoulder issues in 2013, and if the Twins agreed to sign him, they would, of course, want him to take a physical. They would also be much more interested in him as a starter than as a reliever -- Yoon made 13 starts in 2013, but also appeared 17 times out of the bullpen.
- The White Sox have signed Cuban first baseman Jose Dariel Abreu, but that doesn't mean Paul Konerko won't return, MLB.com's Scott Merkin reports. "This signing does not preclude us from bringing Paul back," says GM Rick Hahn. "It's October 29. You don't evaluate an Opening Day roster at the end of October." The White Sox plan to talk to Konerko next month.
- The White Sox's signing of Abreu will likely be their only major free agent signing, Merkin writes. "We're not going to rule out any avenue," says Hahn. Nonethleless, he says, "It's probably more likely that trades are next." If the White Sox do re-sign Konerko, they could deal either Adam Dunn or Jeff Keppinger to make room for him, Merkin says. It's unlikely, however, that either player would generate much trade interest unless the White Sox took on plenty of salary.
Suk-min Yoon is a 27-year-old right-handed pitcher who intends to jump from the Korea Baseball Organization to MLB this offseason. Hyun-jin Ryu was the ace of KBO and had success in his first MLB season, but what can we expect from the second best pitcher out of Korea?
After bouncing between the rotation and bullpen for most of his career, Yoon had a breakout 2011 season, posting a 2.45 ERA, 9.3 K/9, 2.3 BB/9, and 0.52 HR/9 in 172 1/3 innings, winning the MVP award. Yoon's 2012 was excellent as well: a 3.12 ERA, 8.1 K/9, 1.9 BB/9, and 0.53 HR/9 in 153 frames. Check out all of his stats at MyKBO.net. Yoon has experience as a closer, so a relief role could be possible if necessary.
According to report two years ago from Yahoo's Jeff Passan, Yoon's fastball sat at 93 miles per hour and one scout deemed his change-up above average. Yoon has been represented for several years by Scott Boras, who told George A. King III of the New York Post, "He’s a 91 to 92 [mph] guy. He’s a good pitcher … not an overpowering arm." King says Boras sees Yoon as a Kyle Lohse type, though it's not clear if Boras or King drew the comparison. One source I spoke to feels Yoon has the potential for three above average pitches.
Yoon will pitch next year at age 27, meaning he's the youngest free agent starter available and one of few in his 20s.
As an international free agent, Yoon will not require a draft pick to sign. Additionally, unlike Ryu, Yoon is a free agent and will not require a posting fee.
Yoon dealt with a shoulder injury in 2013, about which not much is known publicly. Jee-ho Yoo of the Yonhap News Agency tells me the injury "seemed serious." Yoon made 11 starts with a 4.16 ERA, as well as 19 relief appearances with a 3.60 mark. Yoon's coaches asked him to close for the Kia Tigers in their time of need in August, prompting his move to the bullpen. At any rate, Yoon's 172 1/3 innings in 2011 was a career-high, so 30 big league starts would be a new level for him. The increased travel may have worn on Ryu this year and could affect Yoon as well. After an off year, it may have made sense to rebuild value in Korea, but Yoon wants to come over now.
Yoon has certainly been accessible to scouts over the years in Korea, and he has pitched in the 2008 Summer Olympics and the 2009 and 2013 World Baseball Classics. However, we haven't seen much in the way of scouting reports in the public arena yet, and it's unclear if he even rates as an MLB starter. One MLB executive I spoke to sees Yoon as a reliever.
Yoon is a single guy, and Yoo tells me the pitcher enjoys driving and fishing (and perhaps driving to go fishing). Yoo says Yoon is "not a rah-rah guy in the clubhouse," but in Korean sports culture age and seniority matter a great deal in determining the clubhouse leader. There was one maturity issue in 2010, when Yoon broke his right pinkie after punching his locker.
Yoon rumors have been light in the early going. In mid-October, Darren Wolfson of ESPN 1500 said the Twins would scout Yoon's showcase, but Boras later told King no showcase was happening. And while Boras intends to engage Yankees GM Brian Cashman about Yoon, there's no indication whether the team is interested. Along with the Twins, the Cubs, Rays, Royals, and Orioles are among the teams with Korean scouts, so they may have extra information on Yoon.
Of my contract predictions so far, I have the least confidence in this one, due to the lack of public information on Yoon. He's a bit of a wild card, but I'm going with a two-year, $10MM deal.
Thanks to Dan Kurtz of myKBO.net and Jee-ho Yoo of the Yonhap News Agency for insight.
Trades don't always work out for both clubs involved and it's even rarer for a three-team deal to benefit all parties. However, the Jake Peavy deal did just that, according to Red Sox skipper John Farrell. “One, It’s a great baseball trade because it clearly had specific needs and fit for the three teams involved,” Farrell said, according to Dan Hayes of CSNChicago.com. “Secondly, you have to give up a quality player to get a quality player in return. … It was hard to see Jose Iglesias go, but in return we knew we needed another quality starter, and we got that in Jake." The swap brought five-tool outfielder Avisail Garcia to the White Sox and the Tigers received Iglesias from Boston. More out of the AL Central..
- Korean starting pitcher Suk-Min Yoon is on the Twins' radar, according to Darren Wolfson of 1500 ESPN (via Twitter). Because Yoon is a free agent, he won't require a posting fee from the team that signs him. Yoon hired agent Scott Boras to represent him following the 2011 season but he ultimately stayed in Korea despite speculation he would pitch in the big leagues in 2012. The 27-year-old is set to audition for clubs in the U.S in the near future.
- It's something of a longshot to happen, but Wolfson (Twitter link) hears that the Twins aren't married to keeping their second-round pick and would sacrifice it to sign a player tied to draft compensation. Of course, the Twins' first-round pick is protected thanks to finishing in the bottom third of the standings.
- The Royals should be very careful about the kind of offer they give to free agent Ervin Santana, writes Sam Mellinger of The Kansas City Star. Historically, large and long-term commitments to free agent pitchers don't pan out and Mellinger suggests that KC sets a limit of $45MM over three years.
Korean pitcher Suk-Min Yoon is coming to the U.S. to try out for MLB teams, the Korean paper Chosun Ilbo reports. Yoon hired Scott Boras to represent him following the 2011 season, and there was some speculation he would pitch in the big leagues in 2012, but he ultimately stayed in Korea. He appears to be a free agent and therefore would not require a posting fee.
Yoon starred for South Korea in the 2009 World Baseball Classic. In 2011, he was the MVP of the Korea Baseball Organization. He throws a fastball that sits in the low 90s, along with a slider and a changeup. Yoon, 27, posted a 4.00 ERA for the KIA Tigers in 2013, with 7.8 K/9 and 2.9 BB/9.
NOVEMBER 16th: Yoon has decided to remain with the Kia Tigers for the 2012 season, according to reports out of Korea (link in Korean).
NOVEMBER 8th: Korean right-hander Suk-min Yoon has hired agent Scott Boras and may be posted in time to spend the 2012 season with a Major League team, according to Yahoo’s Jeff Passan. Yoon is the reigning MVP of the Korean Baseball Organization and played in the 2009 World Baseball Classic.
Boras says he’ll speak with Yoon about entering the posting system. If the 25-year-old decides against the posting system, he’d hit free agency a year from now. Yoon, who throws a 93 mph fastball with a slider and a change, posted a 2.45 ERA with 9.3 K/9 in 172 1/3 innings for the Kia Tigers this season.
Boras also represents 24-year-old left-hander Hyun-Jin Ryu, who posted a 3.36 ERA in 126 innings in Korea this past season. Ryu “can post before next season and would hit free agency in 2014,” Passan writes.