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S. Korean ball club SK informed of highest bid for posted pitcher Kim Kwang-hyun

All Headlines 12:02 November 11, 2014

By Yoo Jee-ho

SEOUL, Nov. 11 (Yonhap) -- The South Korean baseball club SK Wyverns have been informed of the highest bid submitted by a Major League Baseball (MLB) club for their posted pitcher Kim Kwang-hyun, officials here said on Tuesday.

The Korea Baseball Organization (KBO) said it was told by MLB on Tuesday that a yet-to-be-identified big league club won the bidding war for the South Korean left-hander and that it has relayed the information to the Wyverns.

The amount of the bid has not been disclosed. The Wyverns have four business days in which to accept the bid.

Should the Wyverns accept the bid, then the big league club will have an exclusive right to negotiate a deal with Kim for 30 days. If the team and the player reach an agreement, then the Wyverns will keep the money submitted in bid.

Kim, 26, completed the equivalent of seven full seasons in 2014 to earn conditional free agency, a status that allows KBO players to test overseas markets with their team's approval.

Before the start of the 2014 season, Kim had said he'd like to be posted for big league clubs this winter. The Wyverns granted Kim his wish and announced at a press conference last month that they would post Kim.

The Wyverns also said they would accept a bid from an MLB team only if they feel the money is right.

Kim is trying to become the second KBO player to reach the majors via posting after Ryu Hyun-jin, the left-handed starter for the Los Angeles Dodgers who made the jump in 2012.

In 2009, right-hander Choi Hyang-nam was posted and the St. Louis Cardinals bid $101 for him. Choi's KBO club, the Lotte Giants, accepted it, but Choi signed a minor league deal and never reached the majors.

Kim, a former KBO MVP, went 13-9 with a 3.42 ERA in 28 starts in 2014, bouncing back after struggling with injuries in recent years. He ranked among the top five in the Triple Crown categories of wins, ERA and strikeouts, and was one of only six starters to post an ERA under 4.00 in a year of massive offensive numbers.

Relying mostly on fastballs and sliders, Kim won 45 games from 2008 to 2010 and earned the league MVP honors in 2008 after leading the KBO with 16 wins and 150 strikeouts, ranking second with a 2.39 ERA.

He was held back by assorted injuries from 2011 to 2013, managing just 22 wins in that span.

Kim recently claimed he feels perfectly healthy and doctors have told him that he could pitch even more innings next year than the 173 2/3 he logged in 2014.

Big league scouts have mixed views on Kim, with some saying he's ready for MLB and others saying he'd be better off honing his skills further in the minors and that he may be better suited as a relief pitcher in the majors.

jeeho@yna.co.kr
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