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Pitcher Choi to Sign With St. Louis Cardinals

Posted January. 28, 2009 07:06,   


Pitcher Choi Hyang-nam will return to the U.S. Major Leagues for the first time in three years.

The St. Louis Cardinals reached an agreement Saturday with the Korea Baseball Organization on the 38-year-old’s transfer. Under the posting system, a closed competitive bid, the Cardinals offered 101 dollars.

Though the fee is a record low, the figure holds meaning for both Choi and his Korean team, the Busan Lotte Giants.

Choi signed a preliminary deal with St. Louis in November last year, but Lotte delayed his bid by requesting that the deal be made under the posting system.

The Cardinals underwent complicated proceedings to scout an old minor league player, showing their trust in Choi’s ability.

Lotte will have the exclusive rights to Choi when he returns to Korea. The deal will be finalized when Lotte accepts the 101 dollars by Thursday, and the team is likely to do so because it has announced its willingness to let Choi go regardless of the transfer fee.

Lotte manager Jerry Royster said he will throw his weight behind Choi’s advance to the United States.

Choi went to the United States in 2006 and played for the Buffalo Bisons, the Class AAA affiliate of the Cleveland Indians. He went 8-5 with an earned run average of 2.37.