SATURDAY: Neither the Indians nor the Tigers submitted the winning bid for Park, via MLB.com’s Jordan Bastian and MLive.com’s Chris Iott (on Twitter). The Indians did bid for Park, although their bid came up short; the Tigers did not bid for him. The Rangers are not the team either, via a tweet from MLB.com’s T.R. Sullivan. The Orioles, who looked like a potential fit for Park, were outbid and will not be signing him, Dan Connolly of the Baltimore Sun tweets. The Padres did not win the bidding either, according to Dennis Lin of the San Diego Union-Tribune (on Twitter). Meanwhile, Jeff Passan of Yahoo tweets that the Red Sox did not win the bid and will stick with Hanley Ramirez at first base.
FRIDAY: Korea’s Nexen Heroes have decided to accept a $12.85MM bid on the rights to negotiate a big league contract with first baseman Byung-Ho Park, the club said in an announcement. (The news comes via Korean outlet Naver Sports, at a Korean language link. Han Lee of Global Sporting Integration tweeted the key portion of the report in English.)
It is not yet known what MLB club won the posting process, but the as-yet-unidentified team will have thirty days to work out a contract with the first baseman. Nexen technically has until Monday afternoon to make its formal decision on the bid, at which point the clock will begin to run.
If Park and his new club are not able to reach agreement on a contract, all involved would lose something. Nexen would not receive the posting fee, Park would not be able to play in North America, and the winning team would not only miss out on the player but also the time spent in talks. It’s far from certain that a contract will be agreed upon, but the incentives are aligned to make it happen.
The reported $12.85MM fee would fall well shy of the $25MM+ posting amount commanded by lefty Hyun-Jin Ryu. But it steadily outpaces what the Pirates paid Nexen last year (around $5MM) for the rights to reach a deal with infielder Jung-Ho Kang. After the team-to-team transfer was arrived at, Kang and the Bucs agreed to a four-year, $11MM guarantee.
Surely, the success of the latter this year in the majors helped boost the appeal of Park. Both had similarly outlandish numbers in the KBO, though Park has done it more consistently over several seasond. Of course, he’s also a first baseman.
In the just-released list of MLBTR’s top fifty free agents, Tim Dierkes predicted that Park would command a $10MM posting fee and a five-year, $40MM contract from the winning team. The first part of that was close, but it remains to be seen how negotiations will proceed.