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KBO asks MLB to post left-hander Kim Kwang-hyun

Sports 15:06 November 28, 2019

By Yoo Jee-ho

SEOUL, Nov. 28 (Yonhap) -- The South Korean professional baseball league announced Thursday that it has asked Major League Baseball (MLB) to make left-hander Kim Kwang-hyun available for its 30 clubs.

The Korea Baseball Organization (KBO) said it requested that MLB post Kim after being notified of the pitcher's availability by his club, SK Wyverns, earlier in the day.

Once MLB formally informs its 30 clubs of Kim's status, any interested team will be able to negotiate with the pitcher during a 30-day negotiating period, which will begin at 8 a.m. Eastern Time (ET) the following day and end at 5 p.m. ET on the 30th day.

The Wyverns announced their intention to post Kim last Friday. Kim is still under contract with the Wyverns -- he signed a four-year, 8.5 billion-won (US$7.2 million) deal before the 2017 season -- and needed the club's permission to explore the big league market.

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

Kim went 17-5 with a 2.51 ERA in 2019, finishing third in ERA and tying for second in wins. He ranked second in strikeouts (180) and third in innings pitched (190 1/3).

Under the new posting system, Kim will be able to negotiate with any interested team within the 30-day window, rather than going through a bidding process. He's the first KBO player to go through the new procedure, which was put in place in July last year.

A KBO player must put in seven full seasons before gaining eligibility for posting. And Kim, who made his debut in 2007, was posted for the first time after the 2014 season.

MLB held a silent auction for Kim at the time, 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 San Diego Padres won that bid with a posting fee of $2 million.

But Kim and the Padres failed to come to a deal. If they had, the Wyverns would have pocketed that $2 million as a transfer fee.

Should Kim sign a big league deal this time, the size of the transfer fee awarded to the Wyverns will depend on the value 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.

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 this file photo from Oct. 14, 2019, Kim Kwang-hyun of the SK Wyverns pitches against the Kiwoom Heroes in Game 1 of the second-round Korea Baseball Organization (KBO) playoff series at SK Happy Dream Park in Incheon, 40 kilometers west of Seoul. (Yonhap)

Under the previous posting rules, 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 of undisclosed amount, 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.

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.


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