NOV. 20: The deadline to submit bids for Son has been pushed to Monday at 5pm ET, according to a report from Yonhap (Korean link). The reason for the delay is that while Lotte requested Son to be posted on Nov. 16, MLB didn’t formally process the request until Nov. 17. At the time the posting was formalized, it was already Nov. 18 in Korea (as noted below, Korea is 14 hours ahead of United States Eastern Time).
The delay creates an uncomfortable situation for Son, who will begin his mandatory four-week military training next Monday (which would put the end date on Dec. 18). As Yoo noted in his column below, Son doesn’t have to actually serve in the military because of his status as a Gold Medal winner from the 2014 Asian Games, but even pro athletes who earn their way out of the requirement must still complete the training. It’s possible, then, that Son won’t immediately know the results of his own posting due to his training schedule.
NOV. 16: Son was officially posted yesterday, Yonhap’s Jee-ho Yoo writes. The bidding process on Son will be open until Nov. 20, and the Giants will learn of the accepting bid on Nov. 21. They’ll then have until Nov. 26 to make their decision on whether or not to accept. If a bid is accepted, the winning team will have 30 days from the time it is accepted to negotiate a contract with Son. It should be noted that South Korea is 14 hours ahead of United States Eastern Time, meaning those deadlines will actually pass at 10am ET on those days in North America (as we saw when the Byung-ho Park news broke early Monday morning last week).
Those interested in Son can check out a highlight reel recently compiled by his agents and posted to YouTube.
NOV. 9: Outfielder Ah-seop Son of the Korea Baseball Organization’s Lotte Giants is expected to be posted for MLB clubs this coming Sunday, reports Daniel Kim of KBS Sports (via Twitter).
As was the case with Byung-ho Park of the KBO’s Nexen Heroes — a first baseman for whom the Twins secured negotiation rights with a $12.85MM posting fee earlier today — big league clubs will have five days to bid on Son. After that point, Lotte will have to decide whether or not to accept the bid. An announcement as to which team posted the winning bid — if an acceptable bid is indeed made — would come one week from the date of his posting. From the point the bid is accepted, the winning team would have 30 days to negotiate a contract with Son and his agent, Rick Thurman of the Beverly Hills Sports Council.
Son is a 27-year-old corner outfielder that has consistently posted strong marks in batting average and on-base percentage over the past five seasons in KBO. In that time, he’s batted .333/.409/.476, averaging 12 home runs and 16 stolen bases per season. This past season was one of Son’s best, as he .317/.406/.472 with 13 homers and 11 steals. Son makes plenty of contact, striking out in just 15.6 percent of his career plate appearances in Korea and drawing more walks (80) than strikeouts (78) in 2014. He’s walked at a 10.8 percent clip in his KBO career.
Son’s posting is worth keeping an eye on, as Korea’s Giants actually have a pair of players that asked to be posted this offseason: Son and third baseman Jae-gyun Hwang. However, KBO rules stipulate that a team can only accept a bid on one player per offseason and can only post one player at a time. If the team does not receive a bid to its liking on Son, or if Son and BHSC aren’t able to come to terms with a team that does make an acceptable bid in the allotted 30-day negotiation window, the Giants will reportedly immediately post Hwang for MLB clubs.
Due to the fact that Son has two remaining years of service time remaining, Lotte needn’t feel any pressure to accept the highest bid. The club could pass on the bids if none is deemed strong enough to part with two years of one of the team’s better hitters, which would mean that Son would simply return to the team in 2016. He could then be posted again next winter. The same cannot be said of Hwang, who would qualify for free agency following the 2016 season and could make himself available to MLB clubs without the restrictions of the posting system.
Seattle would be wise to pursue him, high contact rate and gets on base. Perfect for Safeco. Also Royals and Giants should have interest if the bidding doesn’t go too high IMO.
agreed! not sure if the royals would be in too heavily but I can see the mariners and giants going after him
Agree with Mariners being a good fit, he could be the Korean version of Ichiro
any information regarding his defensive metrics or what scouts say about him defensively?
I was thinking the same thing…
Loving all this KBO news. It’ll be awesome in the future if other countries begin to develop good baseball talent like Middle East, the UK, or other Eastern countries.
Netherlands and Italy develops players here and there but most grow up in the States. To be honest, Baseball doesn’t have a big following in Europe
Yeah Netherlands and Italy are definitely ahead in Europe, but hopefully within the next 25 years the sport grows over there in other countries even though football is the clear leader.
And MLB won’t until a financial reason to go that way happens. Ownership seems more about ‘limiting costs’ than ‘seeking talent’. Not across the board, but too often.
I would really like for baseball to gain some traction in Africa. I think the potential of African athletes in North American sports is massive if we decide to help them set up leagues and development organizations.
Yeah that would be great. The only African born player I remember hearing about was Gift Ngope of the Pirates, but I don’t know if he is even playing in the minors anymore. It would amazing to tap into that entire continent, but probably the last set of nations that would come along because of a lot of reasons.
Gift Ngoepe is still with the Pirates and he was recently just placed on the Pirates 40 man roster.
Oh cool, good for him then. Hopefully see him in majors in 2016
It’d be awesome for baseball to become more popular in at least some African countries. I’m also hoping India can produce some ball players after the whole million dollar arm deal.
MLB is making headway in China…The Orioles just drafted a Chinese national from an MLB-sponsored program in Wuxi, about an hour west of Shanghai and my neighboring town to the east…I actually bumped into a recently-retired Blue Jays starter in my city (he might not want me to mention his name) who is now working here to develop and train pitchers for MLB action…Chinese baseball will take a while to gain popularity and attention because it is not rooted in the culture (as it is in Japan, Korea, and Taiwan), but it won’t be long before generations start growing up with and supporting Chinese-born players in MLB.
That name though..
Jae-gyun Hwang is a year older. Why couldn’t they post him first?
It’s my understanding that they could post Hwang, but chose not to. Maybe they felt that Son was the superior talent and chose to see if an MLB team would blow them away with an offer in the posting system, and if not, they’ll withdraw Son and post Hwang?
It says corner outfield but I wonder if he has the capability to play center as well? Would be great to get some info on his defensive ability.
Seattle seems the most logical.
With the difference in contract status between the two I don’t understand why they didn’t post Hwang first. Maybe because they are going for the big money and if it is not good enough he’s the backup plan? Tells you a little about the teams feelings that he is a very valuable player, always a good sign. I think every team could use a high obp player with some speed, which one will pay 12.9 for it?
I would love for the A’s to go after this guy. Son seems like he could be a solid player in the MLB, and Oakland needs another outfielder considering it is highly unlikely that Crisp can handle everyday duties in LF. It’d also help in terms of marketing, considering he’d give the A’s some attention in South Korea.
The Adrian Beltre
Royals, Astros, Rockies, Giants or Orioles. Could be a poor man’s Choo in Coors or Camden, or cheaply replace Alex Gordon or Colby Rasmus(Aoki as well). Astros with another contact hitter at top of the lineup would be nice. The posting situation with his teammate seems like he could be pulled back unless someone overpays though.
Colby Rasmus is still on the Astros, so why do they need to replace him?
They don’t, but they may have needed to a week ago when the comment you responded to was posted.
The original comment was made 6 days ago
Is there any chance of Eric Thames coming back to MLB? I heard he’s been tearing up the KBO
Ragin' Cajun Brave
As a Braves fan I’m interested in Hwang. Too bad he isn’t being posted….
Could be a fit for the White Sox and really should be someone they target if his defensive metrics are even average.
There’s been many surprise teams with international signings…
… So my surprise team guess is the Padres.
No team has a greater need than the Tribe with Brantley going down.