The Chicago Cubs and Texas Rangers both watched Korean right-hander Suk-Min Yoon throw earlier today, according to T.R. Sullivan of MLB.com. He also reports that despite earlier indications by his agent Scott Boras, he is not close to signing. There are lingering concerns regarding his health and despite these concerns, he is seeking a multi-year deal.
The Cubs reportedly signed former Baltimore Orioles pitcher Jason Hammel last week, to a one-year, $6 million deal to add pitching depth for first-year manager Rick Renteria heading into 2014.
I recently delved into the right-hander and his suitors over at Call to the Pen. Here’s an excerpt from that article:
MLBTR did a feature on the 27-year-old back in October, predicting a two-year, $10 million deal would be enough to land his services in 2014.
Yoon has a fastball that sits in the low 90s, sometimes reaching as high as 93 mph, as well as a solid changeup. In Korea, he is known more as a pitcher rather than an overpowering arm. Whether or not he can continue to develop other pitches to compliment his two primary ones remains to be seen and could very well determine how successful he is in Major League Baseball.
One of the biggest draws for interested clubs, which include the aforementioned Orioles, as well as Texas, San Francisco, Minnesota and the Chicago Cubs, is the fact that he is an international free agent, meaning no draft pick compensation will be tied to his signing, something that separates him from some of the notable free agent arms still available, including Ervin Santana and Ubaldo Jimenez.
The Rangers’ interest reportedly increased following the injury to Derek Holland, who could miss as much as half of the 2014 campaign with a knee injury. Yoon’s best professional season came back in 2011, when he approached the 20-win plateau, going 17-5 with a 2.45 earned run average and 178 strikeouts. He has just four full seasons as a starter under his belt, which came in 2007, 2008, 2011 and 2012.