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Free Agent Posting Completed, Real Negotiations Likely to Start Tomorrow

Free Agent Posting Completed, Real Negotiations Likely to Start Tomorrow

Posted November. 09, 2003 23:17,   


By the time Lee Seung-yup (age 27) called his agent, John Kim of SFX, on November 9 when he officially became a free agent (FA), Kim was already in Baltimore.

Lee’s agent is in Baltimore at the time when there are rumors stating the Orioles’ interest in signing Lee? John Kim commented on this matter by humorously stating, “Please do not speculate anything. I came to Baltimore to meet my parents.”

Mr. Kim had stated, “Four clubs have called today and asked ‘When can we start negotiating?’” After being asked which clubs, Mr. Kim answered, “They have already appeared in the Korean press.” The teams that have shown interest in negotiating with Lee are the L.A. Dodgers and the San Francisco Giants from the National League, and the Anaheim Angels and the Baltimore Orioles from the American League.

Mr. Kim also stated, “The KBO (Korean Baseball Organization) will respond to the Major League’s request for a status reference through an e-mail on November 10. Negotiations will start on November 11 as soon as the administrative bureau acknowledges Lee’s status as an FA.”

He also added, “The final decision on contract requirements will result from a thorough analysis of the various offers that will come in from the several clubs. There is a high probability that a deal will close in a short time.”

After being questioned if Lee Seung-yup will be able to sign for a desired amount of salary, Mr. Kim cautiously responded, “We must pay attention to the situation. We must first find out how much the Major League clubs are willing to offer.”

The official Major League Baseball website, www.mlb.com, in response to this important news, posted an article on November 9 about Lee Seung-yup becoming an FA, which read, “Korean slugger now a free agent.”

The website quoted Korean journalists as saying, “Lee Seung-yup prefers teams that are based in large cities where there are many Korean nationals and is hoping for an annual salary between $1.5 million and $2 million.”

Sang-Soo Kim ssoo@donga.com