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Ex-Cubs pitcher Lim Chang-yong to open contract talks with KBO's Samsung

All Headlines 10:43 March 26, 2014

SEOUL, March 26 (Yonhap) -- Free agent right-hander Lim Chang-yong, recently released by the Chicago Cubs, will soon open contract negotiations with his former South Korean team, the Samsung Lions, an official with the domestic club said Wednesday.

"Lim Chang-yong arrived in Korea late Tuesday afternoon," the official with the Korea Baseball Organization (KBO) team said. "He will visit our minor league training facility in Gyeongsan (330 kilometers southeast of Seoul) to sit down with our executives and begin contract talks. We hope to deliver some good news soon."

Lim, 37, was cut loose by the Cubs on Monday, local time, two days after he was optioned to the Cubs' Triple-A affiliate in Iowa.

The right-hander with a sidearm delivery signed with the Cubs in December 2012, and made his Major League Baseball (MLB) debut last September, after a call-up from the minors. He had Tommy John surgery to repair a torn ligament in his pitching elbow in July 2012 and spent the first half of 2013 in rehab, before making his first minor league appearance in July.

Lim appeared in six games for the Cubs, posting a 5.40 ERA in five innings, with a no win-loss record. He struck out five and walked seven.

He was non-tendered by the Cubs in December but earned an invitation to spring training. In four preseason games, Lim threw four innings and gave up two earned runs on two hits and two walks for a 4.50 ERA.

Lim began his KBO career in 1995 with the Haitai (now Kia) Tigers, and played for the Lions from 1999 to 2007. He was not a free agent when he left Samsung in 2007 to sign with the Yakult Swallows in Japan's Nippon Professional Baseball (NPB). The Lions allowed the move on the condition that Lim could only sign with them if he wanted to return to the KBO.

Lim led the KBO in saves three times and has a 104-66 record with 168 saves in 534 appearances. He also has the most career saves by a South Korean pitcher in the NPB with 128. Despite his age, Lim, a well-known fitness buff, can still reach 151 kilometers per hour (94 miles per hour) with his fastball.

Ryu Joong-il, the manager of the Lions, has said he felt Lim would be "a great asset" to his bullpen. The Lions lost their closer, Oh Seung-hwan, via free agency to the Hanshin Tigers in Japan last December. Oh left the KBO as the career saves leader with 277.


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