Suk-Min Yoon free agency: Korean pitcher could sign soon

Chung Sung-Jun

Yoon is coming off a down year in Korea, but would rather move to America now than rebuild his value in Asia for one more season.

Korean pitcher Suk-Min Yoon has received offers from four Major League Baseball teams and could sign a deal soon, according to Korean media reports (h/t

Though four teams have reportedly made contract overtures to Yoon, he is maintaining talks with just two of them. Which clubs are still in the running for Yoon is currently unknown. What is known is that the Twins and Red Sox have been among those who have shown the most interest in the former Korean MVP. The Twins in particular have been noted all offseason as monitoring Yoon's situation.

However, the Twins reportedly have neglected to meet with Yoon while he has been in America, nor has he visited the Twin Cities. It's possible Yoon could still sign with Minnesota, but the chances of that happening seem to be less than if he had actually met with club officials.

Yoon, 27, suffered a mysterious shoulder surgery last year that forced him to pitch in a relief role for much of the 2013 season. Little is known publicly about the injury or how it will effect him moving forward. Though his fastball generally reaches the low-to-mid 90s, he did lose a couple of miles per hour last year. It's unclear whether an American team would prefer him as a starter or reliever, though Yoon reportedly would like to start. What role he fills may depend on the team with which he signs.

In 2011, Yoon won Korean MVP award with a 2.45 ERA and 178 strikeouts over 173 innings. That was by far a career-high in innings pitched, meaning he may take time growing accustomed to the longer MLB season. He only topped 120 innings one other time in his career. Over 19 relief appearances and 12 starts in 2014, he had a 4.00 ERA with 76 strikeouts over 88 innings.

Yoon is hoping to follow in the footsteps of fellow countrymen like Hyun-Jin Ryu, Shin-Soo Choo, Chan Ho Park and Hee Seop Choi. If he is signed and plays in the majors, Yoon would become the 15th player from South Korea to do so.

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