The Twins have won the negotiating rights to South Korean first baseman Byung-Ho Park, submitting a winning bid of $12.85 million for the power-hitting superstar. The team now has 30 days to negotiate a contract with Park.
Nexen had until Monday night to accept the bid.
The 29-year-old slugger hit 53 home runs in 2015 for Nexen, hitting .343/.436/.714 with 146 RBI in 140 games, setting a new KBO league record for runs batted in. He hit 52 home runs in 2014, and over the last four seasons in the KBO has averaged 43 home runs and 123 RBI.
"I'd like to thank everyone for helping me chase my major league dreams," Park said through Nexen, per Yonhap News. "But there are many more steps that I have to take before reaching the big leagues. And as a member of the national team, I want to do the best I can to help the country achieve good results at the Premier 12 (international tournament)."
The $12.85 million bid is the second-most for a Korean player in the posting system, behind the $25.7 million the Dodgers paid for the rights to negotiate with pitcher Hyun-Jin Ryu in 2012. Last offseason, the Pirates won the bidding for Korean infielder Jung-Ho Hang for $5 million, then signed him to a four-year, $11 million contract.
Agent Alan Nero represents both Kang and Park.
"Based on Kang's performance, there has been a lot more optimism regarding Park's potential," Nero told Scott Lauber of the Boston Herald. "As I said last year with Kang, if he were Cuban (and not subject to the posting process), he would have got $100 million. The same is true of Park. Power pays."
What this means for current Twins' first baseman Joe Mauer is unknown. While Mauer has seen a serious drop in production over the last two seasons, dropping from a 142 OPS+ in 2013 to just 107 and a below-average 96 in the next two campaigns, he's also still owed another $69 million over the next three years. Of course, before Minnesota goes to work figuring anything with Mauer out, they need to successfully sign Park.