Dec. 7: Kim has now been formally posted and can begin negotiating with MLB teams, tweets Jon Morosi of MLB.com.
Dec. 1: Shortstop Ha-Seong Kim has yet to be officially made available to Major League teams due to a minor delay in medical paperwork, Jeeho Yoo of the Yonhap News Agency writes. According to Kiwoom Heroes general manager Chi-Hyun Kim, Major League Baseball requested more medical documentation “that we didn’t think would be necessary. Kim Ha-seong went for tests at three different hospitals on Monday and we sent those results to the KBO today.”
It’s been clear that Kim will be posted for months now. The issue isn’t expected to keep the star shortstop off the market for much longer, and he could be officially posted as early as Wednesday or Thursday. Once Kim is posted, MLB clubs will have a 30-day window for contract negotiations.
Given how many other notable shortstops are available either in free agency (i.e. Marcus Semien, Didi Gregorius, Andrelton Simmons) or trades (Francisco Lindor, and potentially Javier Baez or Trevor Story) this offseason, it’s possible this delay in Kim’s availability could somewhat hold up the rest of the shortstop market. Kim is the more intriguing members of the 2020-21 free agent class, as he is just 25 years old but already has six seasons of excellent numbers under his belt in the KBO League.
Though some Major League teams may view Kim as a second or third baseman (or as a super-utility type who can play all over the infield), Kim’s potential as an everyday shortstop makes him particularly valuable. The Blue Jays and Rangers are two of the teams reported to have interest in Kim thus far, which is indicative of how both contenders and non-contenders can view Kim as a long-term answer.
In addition to the contract itself, the team that signs Kim will also have to pay a transfer fee to the Kiwoom Heroes. The Heroes’ transfer fee will be 20 percent of the contract’s first $25MM in value, 17.5 percent of the next $25MM, and 15 percent of anything beyond the $50MM threshold.