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Chan-Ho, `Muddy FA Market,`… Byung-Hyun `League Shift?`

Chan-Ho, `Muddy FA Market,`… Byung-Hyun `League Shift?`

Posted November. 08, 2001 10:29,   


The Major League runs the next season with 28 teams to eliminate two teams.

Major League Baseball owners voted to authorize the contraction of at least two teams in the meeting at Chicago yesterday. But they did not name the two teams that would be expelled. Baseball Commissioner Allan H. (Bud) Selig declared that there would more than two candidates at this time. Owners` decision of team contraction might have an effect on the Korean players as well as the Major League.

▽ Which is the candidate?

The U.S. press placed on the candidate list the Minnesota Twins of the American League, and the Montreal Expos and the Florida Marlins of the National League. Especially, among 30 major league teams, the likeliest candidates are the Montreal Expos that averaged just 7,648 fans per game this year marking the lowest record in major league, and the Minnesota Twins that has been under the chronic financial difficulty.

▽ Arizona Might Move To American League

If two teams are eliminated, 13 teams remain in the AL, and the NL becomes comprised of 15 teams. In order to make a balance between both leagues, the Arizona, the defending World Series champion, is likely to move to the American League next season. It is because that Baseball Commissioner Allan H. (Bud) Selig and Arizona Chairman & CEO Jerry Colangelo made an agreement that the youngest team should move first in case of realignment of the league, when the Arizona Diamondbacks was organized in 1998.

The most realistic plan will be that the currently NL West Arizona moves to the AL West, the AL West Texas Rangers moves to the AL Central in place of the Minnesota, and the NL Central Pittsburgh Pirates moves to the NL East in place of the Montreal.

If the Arizona is included in the AL West, the AL West may turn into a furious arena between the Arizona, the regular-season best team Seattle and the 2nd consecutive playoffs contender Oakland. In particular, Kim Byung-Hyun will not be able to avoid the frequent encounters with Seattle`s gifted hitter Ichiro.

▽ Effects On Korean Players

The elimination of two teams is not such a good news at all for Korean players such as free agent Park Chan-Ho, and Doosan`s Jin Pil-Joong and Samsung`s Lee Seung-Yeop who have tried to advance to the major league. Because about 80 major leaguers and hundreds of minor leaguers of the two teams to be removed will be relocated, the Korean players may lose the competitive edge in the recruit market. Park Chan-Ho dreaming of big contract can become a victim of `salary reduction plan` that owners might conspire. Obviously, the ML scout agents might turn away from Jin Pil-Joong and Lee Seung-Yeop.