Korean starting pitcher has announced he will soon travel to Los Angeles to tryout for MLB teams, according to the Korean Newspaper Cosun Ilbo.
The 27-year-old right-hander is a free agent and would not require a posting fee.
Sep 18, 2013; Milwaukee, WI, USA; Chicago Cubs pitcherChang-Yong Lim
pitches in the seventh inning against the Milwaukee Brewers at Miller Park. Mandatory Credit: Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports
Yoon is currently with the Kia Tigers and has spent eight years with the club since they selected him in the 2nd round of the 2005 Korean Baseball Organization draft. He served as a reliever in his first two seasons before moving to the starting rotation in 2007.
During his best season in 2011, He led the KBO with 17 wins, a 2.45 ERA, and 178 strikeouts in 172 1/3 innings and was named the KBO Most Valubale Player.
The Seoul, South Korea native, won the gold medal in the 2008 Summer Olympics and played in the second edition of the World Baseball Classic in 2009 for the South Korean national team. The team finished second to two-time WBC champions Japan in the final.
Yoon is a client of notable sports agent Scott Boras and will look for big money if signed by a MLB team. Despite the recent success from Asian arms – Yu Darvish, Koji Uehara, and Hyun-jin Ryu – the Cubs are on the fence about signing Yoon for two reasons.
1. Scott Boras is Yoon’s agent
2. They already have an arm from South Korea – Chang-Yong Lim
Boras is known for signing his clients to lucrative deals which is against Theo Epstein’s, Cubs president of baseball operations, mindset to building the Cubs organization.
The 37-year-old right-hander, Lim was promoted on Sept. 4, 2013 to the majors following his second Tommy John surgery in July 2012. Lim spent the majority of the 2013 season in the minors and went 22 1/3 innings in 21 games with half of his games with Triple-A Iowa.
Lim is a reliever so, there would not be a challenge for position and he could help Yoon with the transition from South Korea to the United States. With Lim’s age and his two surgeries he is likely to only play for a few more seasons.
Epstein and the Cubs have not stated any interest in Yoon but it leaves Cubs fans thinking, should the Cubs pursue?