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Pitcher Kim Kwang-hyun to become 1st KBO player to go through new posting system

Sports 18:43 November 22, 2019

By Yoo Jee-ho

SEOUL, Nov. 22 (Yonhap) -- When South Korean star left-hander Kim Kwang-hyun gets posted by his local club for interested big league teams, he will go through a vastly different process from the one he underwent five years ago during his first posting.

The SK Wyverns of the Korea Baseball Organization (KBO) announced on Friday they will make Kim available for Major League Baseball (MLB) teams via posting. Because Kim was still under contract with the Wyverns, he needed the KBO's team's green light to explore the big league market for the second time in his career.

In this file photo from Nov. 7, 2019, Kim Kwang-hyun of South Korea pitches against Canada in the bottom of the first inning of a Group C game at the World Baseball Softball Confederation Premier12 tournament at Gocheok Sky Dome in Seoul. (Yonhap)

Kim went through his first posting in 2014 and failed to reach an agreement with the San Diego Padres at the time.

Under the posting system five years ago, MLB held a silent auction for Kim, and interested clubs submitted sealed and uncapped bids in an attempt to win the exclusive negotiating rights with the pitcher for a 30-day period. The Padres won that bid with a fee of US$2 million.

If the two sides had come to an agreement, the Wyverns would have pocketed that $2 million as a transfer fee.

Three South Korean players signed major league deals under the old posting system: pitcher Ryu Hyun-jin (Los Angeles Dodgers) in 2012, infielder Kang Jung-ho (Pittsburgh Pirates) in 2015 and infielder Park Byung-ho (Minnesota Twins) in 2015.

MLB and the KBO agreed to a new posting system last year, with the silent auction no longer part of the process. Instead, players can now negotiate with any interested club for 30 days.

That negotiating clock starts at 8 a.m. U.S. Eastern Time (ET) on the morning after MLB informs its 30 clubs of the KBO player's availability. It ends at 5 p.m. ET on the 30th day.

And Kim will be the first KBO player to be posted under the new system.

Should he sign a big league deal, the size of the transfer fee that goes to the Wyverns will depend on the size of that contract.

If the guaranteed value of Kim's deal is $25 million or less, then the release fee will be 20 percent of the contract.

This file photo from Nov. 7, 2019, shows major league scouts watching South Korean pitcher Kim Kwang-hyun during a Group C game at the World Baseball Softball Confederation Premier12 tournament against Canada at Gocheok Sky Dome in Seoul. (Yonhap)

If the contract is worth between $25,000,001 and $50 million, the fee will be 20 percent of the first $25 million, plus 17.5 percent of any amount exceeding that $25 million.

In the past, if the posted player's original club wasn't pleased with the winning bid from the silent auction, the team could pull the player off the market. In December 2014, Kia Tigers' left-hander Yang Hyeon-jong was posted, but his KBO team rejected the winning bid, reportedly offered by the Minnesota Twins.

But in the new system, once a KBO player is posted, his club won't be able to take him back during the negotiating window.

Kim, whose starts were often attended by about a dozen major league scouts this year, said he'd like to negotiate with teams that will give him plenty of opportunities.

"I'd love to have a chance to become a starting pitcher," he said. "But I'll just try to become a pitcher that a team needs."

Kim said he was still trying to come to grips with the fact that he'll be posted and added he'll have to scramble to find an MLB-certified agent based in the U.S.


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