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S. Korean slugger Na Sung-bum officially posted for MLB clubs

Sports 13:58 December 10, 2020

By Yoo Jee-ho

SEOUL, Dec. 10 (Yonhap) -- South Korean slugger Na Sung-bum can now begin his pursuit of his major league dreams in earnest.

The NC Dinos' outfielder and designated hitter has been officially posted for Major League Baseball (MLB) teams, the Korea Baseball Organization (KBO) announced Thursday.

Now that major league teams have been notified of Na's availability, any of the 30 clubs with an interest in the 31-year-old will have 30 days in which to work out a deal with him.

The negotiating window will open at 8 a.m. Eastern Time (ET) on Thursday and close at 5 p.m. ET on Jan. 9.

In this file photo from Nov. 20, 2020, Na Sung-bum of the NC Dinos rounds the bases after hitting a solo home run against the Doosan Bears in the top of the first inning of Game 3 of the Korean Series at Gocheok Sky Dome in Seoul. (Yonhap)

The KBO asked its MLB counterpart to post Na on Nov. 30, but the Dinos had to submit additional medical documents before the request could be processed.

Na has been one of the KBO's premier sluggers since his debut out of Yonsei University in 2013. Na has a lifetime .317/.384/.542 line in 937 games, along with 179 home runs and 729 RBIs.

In 2020, Na bounced back nicely from a serious knee injury that cost him nearly the entire 144-game season in 2019. He appeared in 130 games this year -- splitting his time as a right fielder and a designated hitter -- and batted .324/.390/.596 with a career-high 34 home runs and 112 RBIs. Na was third in the league in home runs and seventh in RBIs, and he scored 115 runs to rank second overall.

Na helped the Dinos capture their Korean Series in November. In a six-game victory over the Doosan Bears, Na batted .458/.440/.625 with a home run, six RBIs and three runs scored.

In this file photo from Nov. 17, 2020, Na Sung-bum of the NC Dinos hits an RBI single against the Doosan Bears in the bottom of the first inning of Game 1 of the Korean Series at Gocheok Sky Dome in Seoul. (Yonhap)

Represented by uber-agent Scott Boras, Na had been taking aim at the majors for years. He would have been eligible for posting last year if he had stayed healthy, and instead is entering the market two months past his 31st birthday.

The former college pitcher began his pro career in center field but moved to right field full-time in 2015. The knee injury from last year has sapped him of athleticism, but Na still boasts a strong arm.

For all his power, Na strikes out at a rate that could be concerning for teams.

This year, Na had the third-most strikeouts with 148. His strikeout rate -- the total number of strikeouts divided by plate appearances -- was a career-worst 25.3 percent this season.

If Na signs a major league deal, the Dinos will receive a transfer fee, depending on the value of his 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 Na signs for more than $50 million, the Dinos will receive $9,375,000 and then 15 percent of the amount exceeding $50 million.

In this file photo from Nov. 20, 2020, Na Sung-bum of the NC Dinos hits a sacrifice fly against the Doosan Bears in the top of the third inning of Game 3 of the Korean Series at Gocheok Sky Dome in Seoul. (Yonhap)

jeeho@yna.co.kr
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