Korean outfielder Hyeon-Soo Kim (or, alternatively anglicized, Hyun-soo Kim) has reached free agency and hopes to sign with an MLB club, Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports writes. (Because he is a free agent, he will not need to go through a posting process.) The 27-year-old corner outfielder doesn’t quite have the power numbers of Byung-Ho Park, but has delivered good pop in the hitter-friendly KBO while taking walks more than he strikes out. He’s a .318/.406/.488 lifetime hitter, suggesting a nice blend of contact, patience, and pop, though he’s more of a 20 home run threat than a 40+ bomb KBO masher. Passan cites at least one scout that sees the left-handed-hitting Kim as a possible regular left fielder, and says he could have significant earning power this winter.
Here’s more on the market:
- The Nationals have interest in Ben Zobrist, though he’s not viewed as a top priority, James Wagner of the Washington Post reports. That’s not exactly surprising, for all the familiar reasons, but the possible fit in D.C. does seem to be a good one since the club could use a left-handed bat capable of playing second and the corner outfield. (Even better, Zobrist is a switch-hitter.)
- Meanwhile, GM Mike Rizzo indicated at the meetings that the team isn’t looking to bring back Denard Span, Wagner also reports. That’s even less surprising, of course. Rizzo indicated that the club feels good about Michael A. Taylor in center and doesn’t feel the need to add a new regular option there.
- As with the rival Nats, the Mets plan to speak with Zobrist’s representatives at Octagon, Mike Puma of the New York Post tweets. New York is well aware that Zobrist will have a broad market, though, Puma adds.
- Did I mention that there’d be wide interest in Zobrist? The Cardinals, too, have interest in him, Buster Olney of ESPN.com writes on Twitter. It’s not exactly clear how St. Louis would deploy Zobrist, but it’s possible to imagine him seeing time at more or less every position on the diamond (with a few exceptions) with the club.
- Agent Scott Boras made clear at the GM Meetings this week that he intends to pitch Chris Davis as a legitimate outfield option, as ESPN.com’s Jerry Crasnick writes. In addition to rare power, says Boras, Davis is more than capable of playing a passable right field for at least a year or two. That is indeed an intriguing idea, since it would open up some new possibilities, and Crasnick explains that there are good reasons to believe it’s plausible.
- Despite already adding A.J. Pierzynski, the Braves could sign another backstop to pair with him, David O’Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports (Twitter links). But any such signing isn’t likely to be an expensive one, he cautions, which seems to suggest that Matt Wieters won’t be a target. Of course, that raises the question of what the team’s plans are for Christian Bethancourt, who has increasingly been mentioned as a change-of-scenery trade candidate. All this chatter occurred before Atlanta agreed to trade away Andrelton Simmons, though, so it’s hard to know whether a change in the club’s strategy will follow.
- Multiple agents suggested to Olney (Twitter link) that the teams with protected first-round picks don’t seem particularly inclined to spend a lot of money in free agency. That would appear to suggest that qualifying-offer-bound free agent may need to bear the full brunt of the draft pick compensation owed by any team signing them, since there will be fewer clubs that can add them at the cost of only a later pick. Of course, with so many players having received the QO, it’s likely that there will be a few teams that sign more than one, reducing the unit cost of the lost draft picks.