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S. Korean infielder Kim Ha-seong officially posted for MLB clubs

All News 13:58 December 08, 2020

By Yoo Jee-ho

SEOUL, Dec. 8 (Yonhap) -- After some administrative delay, South Korean All-Star infielder Kim Ha-seong has been officially posted for major league clubs.

Major League Baseball (MLB) has notified its 30 clubs of Kim's availability, an official with the Korea Baseball Organization (KBO) told Yonhap News Agency on Tuesday. He confirmed an earlier report on MLB.com by Jon Paul Morosi that Kim had been posted by his KBO club, the Kiwoom Heroes.

MLB clubs have until 5 p.m. Eastern Time (ET) on Jan. 1 to sign Kim, the KBO official said. The 30-day negotiating window, part of the posting process for KBO players, opened at 8 a.m. ET on Dec. 2.

In this file photo from Oct. 7, 2020, Kim Ha-seong of the Kiwoom Heroes celebrates his solo home run against the NC Dinos during the bottom of the fifth inning of a Korea Baseball Organization regular season game at Gocheok Sky Dome in Seoul. (Yonhap)

The Heroes submitted their posting request through the KBO on Nov. 25, but it took a week before Kim was formally made available because MLB had asked the Heroes for additional medical documents.

The Heroes promised Kim in December last year that they would post him once he completed his seventh year and thus fulfilled his eligibility requirement.

And in addition to completing his seventh season, the 25-year-old Kim also put together his most productive season in 2020.

He batted .306/.397/.523 to set career highs in on-base and slugging percentages, while falling .001 point shy of matching his personal best in batting average.

Kim belted a career-high 30 home runs, and his 109 RBIs and 111 runs scored were the second-highest totals of his career. Kim swiped 23 bags for his second career 20-20 season and set a KBO record by stealing his first 20 bags without getting caught. For the first time in his career, Kim had more walks (75) than strikeouts (68).

In this file photo from Sept. 23, 2020, Kim Ha-seong of the Kiwoom Heroes celebrates his two-run home run against the Kia Tigers during the top of the eighth inning of a Korea Baseball Organization regular season game at Gwangju-Kia Champions Field in Gwangju, 330 kilometers south of Seoul. (Yonhap)

A third-round draft pick out of high school in 2014, Kim has 131 home runs and 130 steals since becoming a regular in 2015. The athletic infielder has a strong arm and also played a bit of third base this year after the Heroes signed former Chicago Cubs All-Star Addison Russell in the summer. Multiple major league clubs have been scouting Kim and several teams have been mentioned as a potential destination.

Kim enters a free agent market featuring All-Star and MVP-caliber infielders DJ LeMahieu, Marcus Semien, Didi Gregorius, Andrelton Simmons, Justin Turner and Kolten Wong.

If Kim signs a major league deal, the Heroes will receive a transfer fee depending 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.

If Kim signs for more than $50 million, the Heroes will receive $9,375,000 and then 15 percent of the amount exceeding $50 million.

In this file photo from Aug. 20, 2020, Kim Ha-seong of the Kiwoom Heroes hits a two-run single against the LG Twins in the bottom of the eighth inning of a Korea Baseball Organization regular season game at Gocheok Sky Dome in Seoul. (Yonhap)

jeeho@yna.co.kr
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