By Yoo Jee-ho
SEOUL, Oct. 13 (Yonhap) -- The posting period for South Korean baseball players hoping to reach the majors has been pushed back by nine days this year, a fallout from the coronavirus-interrupted season here.
The Korea Baseball Organization (KBO) announced Tuesday that clubs now have between Nov. 10 and Dec. 14 to post players looking to make a jump to Major League Baseball (MLB). Previously, the posting period ran from Nov. 1 to Dec. 5.
The 2020 regular season in the KBO began more than a month behind schedule, on May 5, because of the coronavirus outbreak. The Korean Series is expected to conclude near the end of November, instead of late October in a normal season, and the KBO said it has reached an agreement with MLB to give clubs here more time to prepare for posting. The new deadline will apply to 2020 only, the KBO added.
If a KBO player is posted, any interested MLB club will be able to negotiate with the player during a 30-day window, which opens at 8 a.m. Eastern Time (ET) on the morning after MLB notifies its 30 teams of the player's availability. The negotiating period ends at 5 p.m. ET on the 30th day.
And if the KBO player signs a major league deal, the amount of the transfer fee awarded to his original club will depend on the value of that contract.
If the guaranteed value of the deal is US$25 million or less, then the fee will be 20 percent of the contract. And 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.
This offseason, Kiwoom Heroes' All-Star shortstop Kim Ha-seong is expected to be posted. The Heroes told him last December that they would make him available for MLB teams following the 2020 season.
Kim, who turns 25 on Saturday, has been one of the KBO's top all-around players. He's batting .310/.401/.532 this year with a career-best 29 home runs, 105 RBIs, 21 steals and 106 runs scored. He has joined the 20-20 club in homers and steals for the second time in his career. His on-base percentage and slugging percentage would both be career highs if the season ended today.
Na Sung-bum, designated hitter/outfielder for the NC Dinos, is also eligible for posting this year. After missing most of 2019 with a knee injury, Na has bounced back nicely this season with a .322/.392/.600 line, 31 home runs, 103 RBIs and 102 runs scored.
KBO players must put in seven full seasons or their equivalent to be posted. They must stay on the active roster for 145 days to qualify for a full season.
Last winter, two KBO players, SK Wyverns' pitcher Kim Kwang-hyun and Doosan Bears' outfielder Kim Jae-hwan, were posted. Kim Kwang-hyun signed a two-year deal worth $8 million with the St. Louis Cardinals, but Kim Jae-hwan wasn't picked up by anyone and returned to the KBO instead.
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