As Major League Baseball (MLB) lockout continues, there are speculations about what is next for free agent Kim Kwang-hyun.
A reporter covering the St. Louis Cardinals suggested that Kim and the team are likely to go separate ways. Derrick Goold, who has been the lead Cardinals beat writer for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch for almost 20 years, told fans on Tuesday that Kim wanted to leave the team for an opportunity to serve a starting pitcher, adding that Kim felt that he and the team cannot go together due to his place in the team.
Kim signed a two-year contract with the Cardinals in 2020 and started in 21 out of 27 games last season. After suffering back and elbow injuries, Kim often appeared as a middle reliever from August. Kim was 6-7 with a 3.63 ERA as a starting pitcher and 1-0 with a save and a 1.80 ERA as a middle reliever.
Some media outlets viewed that the Los Angeles Dodgers might offer Kim a spot on their team since he can both serve as a starting and a bullpen pitcher. “If there’s anything the Dodgers like, it’s flexibility, and Kim has been used both as a starter and a reliever,” wrote FanGraphs Baseball on Wednesday. The website predicted that Kim could sign a two-year deal worth $36 million with the Dodgers.
There are calls within the Cardinals to resign Kim. The Redbird Rants, the St. Louis Cardinals news and opinions site, wrote whether it is a starting or a bullpen pitcher, Kim is a free agent the Cardinals should consider resigning, adding that it would not be a surprising decision to resign Kim whether it is to reinforce the team’s starting rotation or have him as a key middle reliever.
Kim, who currently does not belong to any team, is training on his own in Incheon, South Korea, waiting for the MLB lockout to end. There are rumors about Kim returning to his former KBO team SSG, but it is known that Kim intends to stay in MLB.