TODAY: Kim has strong offers in his native Korea and appears likely to remain there, a source tells Rich Dubroff of CSNmidatlantic.com (via Twitter).
But there are other MLB clubs in pursuit also, tweets Connolly. He says that the Padres may also have made an offer.
YESTERDAY: The Orioles appear to have serious interest in Korean outfielder Hyun-Soo Kim, according to report from Dan Connolly of the Baltimore Sun (Twitter links). Baltimore has already extended Kim a two-year offer that would likely guarantee him $3MM to $4MM per season and is continuing to negotiate with his representatives.
Kim, who’ll soon turn 28, just reached free agent eligibility after nine seasons with the KBO’s Doosan Bears. He has reportedly received offers from multiple MLB clubs, though it appears that Baltimore is the first club to be publicly tied to an actual offer.
The Orioles have long been said to be looking for one or more outfielders, and a commitment of that magnitude would suggest that Kim would slot into at least a semi-regular role. Baltimore utilized a variety of platoon options in the corner last year, but Kim would “likely” feature in left if signed, Connolly adds via Twitter.
Kim has put up a big .318/.406/.488 slash in the offensively robust KBO, and last year had his best-ever showing. Not only did he slash .326/.438/.541, but Kim also banged a career-best 28 home runs. But Kim’s real calling card is in the on-base arena. Unlike some other KBO players who have moved over to MLB (or have shown interest in doing so), Kim is a master of plate discipline. Last year, he struck out only 63 times while drawing 101 free passes.
While the money that the O’s have reportedly put on the table certainly represents a significant figure, it’s not the kind of cash that teams generally must part with to add regular or semi-regular players. Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports had suggested at one point that Kim might slot in “toward the top of the next tier of corner outfielders” behind the four major free agents, but that does not appear to be the case — unless Baltimore’s offer is wholly non-competitive.