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Orioles make two-year offer to Korean outfielder Kim Hyun-soo

Orioles make two-year offer to Korean outfielder Kim Hyun-soo

Posted December. 16, 2015 08:29,   


Will Kim Hyun-soo (27) be wearing the uniform of the Baltimore Orioles in the Major League baseball? Citing a report in the Baltimore Sun, U.S. media outlets reported en masse on Tuesday that Baltimore has offered a two-year contract with an annual salary of 3 million to 4 million U.S. dollars to Kim Hyun-soo. It is the first time a baseball team that has proposed contract with Kim as free agent, and his proposed salary have been identified.

The Baltimore Sun called Kim a Korean "Iron Man." The daily stressed that Kim played in 98 percent of all games for the past nine seasons, and in 141 of the 144 games this year. "Iron Man" is the nickname for Calvin Edwin Ripken, Jr., who has played in 2,632 consecutive games as a Baltimore player. Kim can play as first baseman and leftfielder, and the Sun said that if the Korean plays in the Major League, he will likely take the leftfielder position. Based on analysis by a performance evaluator, the newspaper also predicted that Kim will be able to garner 15 homers in the Major League.

Orioles, which belongs to the Eastern Division of the American League, have become competitive after recruiting manager Buck Showalter who is widely considered a wise commander in 2010, and general manager Dan Duquette in 2011, advancing to the post season twice for four years. The team ranked third in the division with 81 wins and 81 losses in this past season and thus failed to advance to the post season.

A leader well versed with Korean baseball, Duquette understands the KBO League better than anyone else among front executives in the Major League. Having served as general manager for the Boston Red Sox from 1994 to 2002, Duquette recruited Kim Sun-woo, Cho Jin-ho and Lee Sang-hoon. Recruitment of Yoon Seok-min, who had failed to advance to the Major League, was also made possible by Duquette.

The biggest pending issue at Orioles is to fill the gap in offense left by first baseman Chris Davis, who has become a free agent. The team offered 150 million US dollars for a seven-year contract to Davis, but withdrew the offer immediately. Davis is a power hitter who became the homerun king of the American League twice in 2013 and 2015. With batting performance in the "form of total success or total failure," he ranked first in both homers (47) and strikeouts (208). Davis’ agent is Scott Boras.

Orioles` offer for a two-year contact with Kim Hyun-soo is believed to be a step to reinforcing its capability by investing a small amount, while a two-year agreement does not pose big burden on the team. If Kim chooses to wear the Baltimore uniform, he will become the first KBO League player to move to the Major League as a free agent.