Suk-Min Yoon rumors: Red Sox and Twins among those interested in Korean pitcher

Chung Sung-Jun

Yoon has not been analyzed and coveted nearly as much as Japanese star Masahiro Tanaka, but could be a nice under-the-radar signing for a team.

The Boston Red Sox and Minnesota Twins are among teams that have shown an interest in signing Korean pitcher Suk-Min Yoon, reports Peter Gammons of the MLB Network.

Yoon is traveling to the United States on Wednesday in hopes that he will soon sign a contract with a team in Major League Baseball.

The majority opinion around baseball seems to be that Yoon is the second-best foreign pitcher on the market this offseason. However, he is a huge step down from Japanese superstar Masahiro Tanaka, who is expected to receive a deal eclipsing $100 million within the next two weeks.

The Twins had been rumored to have some interest in Tanaka, and may have made initial overtures to him. The club likely is not going to be a serious player, however, as their top offer would almost assuredly fall short of those made by the Yankees and Red Sox. Other high-spending teams like the Mariners, Cubs and Rangers may also be in on the bidding. The Red Sox, however, will not be as they reportedly do not have an interest in acquiring Tanaka.

Yoon has been a starting pitcher for most of his career in Korea, but a shoulder injury forced him back into a relief role in 2013.  Yoon would like to continue to start, and agent Scott Boras will continue to label him as a starter, but he may not remain in a rotation for long; there have been various opinions that he will be better served as a reliever.

Yoon throws a fastball that usually sits around the low-to-mid 90s along with a change-up and slider. He also throws the occasional curveball, though he may cut that out of his repertoire if he is moved to the bullpen full-time. In particular, the Red Sox may prefer him as an option to shore up their bullpen. The Twins, meanwhile, may prefer to try him as a starter at first. Minnesota has been the most oft-mentioned team in pursuit of Yoon, though their interest may have waned a bit as they have signed Ricky Nolasco, Phil Hughes and Mike Pelfrey this offseason.

It's anyone's guess as to what a contract for Yoon would look like as he is still somewhat shrouded in mystery. Fellow Korean Hyun-Jin Ryu took a six-year deal worth $36 million to join the Dodgers last year and finished fourth in Rookie of the Year voting after posting a 3.00 ERA with Los Angeles.

Yoon was the 2011 Korean Baseball Organization MVP with the Kia Tigers as he notched a 2.45 ERA and 1.05 WHIP while striking out 178 batters in a career-high 172 innings. In 2013, he had a 4.00 ERA as he worked through the shoulder injury, of which little is known about publicly.

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