Slugging Korean outfield Sung-Bum Na’s posting period came to an end today. The 31-year-old, who has played his entire eight-year career with the NC Dinos, will return to the KBO after failing to come to an agreement with a Major League team, per a SPOTV report, writes the KBO’s Sung Min Kim (via Twitter).
Na was posted a month ago with the hopes of catching on with a Major League club. As a corner outfielder, Na already faced a steep competitive field that offers a fair swath of alternative options, but a knee injury suffered in 2019 and his age likely complicated his market. Still, he hit .324/.390/.596 for the Dinos in 2020 with 34 home runs, 25.3 percent strikeout rate, and 8.3 percent walk rate. The strikeout and walk rates likely did not work in Na’s favor, but the power is compelling.
The free agent market is an unforgiving one this offseason, however, and it might be that Na was too uncertain an asset for interested teams. The 30-day posting period also likely worked against him given the glacial pace of free agency. Ultimately, agent Scott Boras was unable to find a deal. As we saw recently with Tomoyuki Sugano, Na is not the only overseas star to face a less-welcoming financial landscape than expected. Na will now will return to the Dinos for a ninth season. He will, however, be a free agent again after 2021, notes Kim, at which point he could pursue the possibility of jumping to MLB again.