REPORT: Korean pitcher Suk-Min Yoon might sign soon, with Chicago Cubs?


An Arirang News report says, Korean pitcher Suk-Min Yoon could sign soon with a Major League team and the Chicago Cubs have been named favorites to sign the right-hander.

The Minnesota Twins were named the frontrunners but with the Ricky Nolasco and Phil Hughes signings this weekend the Twins look to be out on the Yoon sweepstakes.

Yoon, 27, started his career in the Korean Baseball Organization at 19 and has a career 3.19 ERA. In 2013, Yoon posted a 4.00 ERA, with 28 walks and 76 strikeouts in 87 2/3 innings. He spent the season in the bullpen for the majority of the season after long being a starter.

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 does have a free pass to avoid military service, which is important as all able bodied Korean males are required to serve for two years prior to turning 35. This has been a major hurdle for Korean athletes to play internationally.

The Cubs have been linked to Japanese right-hander Masahiro Tankaka, but with a new posting system being negotiated there is doubt he will be posted. Cubs General Manager Jed Hoyer has stated the Cubs will be involved in the bidding.

"“[Tanaka] is a guy that we’ve scouted heavily, [and] we’ve done our due diligence,” Hoyer said. “He’s been outstanding not only this year but for a really long time. He’ll help someone’s rotation if he comes over here, and obviously we’re going to be involved in the process.”"

Yoon could provide an alternative for the Cubs if a new deal cannot be reached or they are out bid for Tanaka.

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