Kwang-Hyun Kim of South Korea to Be Posted This Offseason
According to Dan Kurtz of MyKBO.net, the SK Wyverns of the Korean Baseball Organization have decided to post left-hander Kwang-Hyun Kim this offseason. This report came from the Yonhap news agency.
Kwang-Hyun Kim wanted to pitch in the MLB prior to the 2014 season, but after playing this year he has his necessary seven seasons of KBO service time to qualify for posting.
Over the course of 28 starts this season, the 26 year-old Kim had a 3.42 ERA. He finished in the top 5 statistically in ERA, wins and strikeouts amongst KBO pitchers.
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Kim was named the KBO league MVP back in 2008, and has struggled with injuries in recent seasons. He was a pitcher for the South Korean World Baseball Classic team back in 2009, but got shelled allowing 9 runs in 3.1 innings pitched.
If you’re interested in seeing what Kwang-Hyun Kim is capable of, check out the YouTube playlist Dan Kurtz put together.
Kim has a non-traditional lefty pitching style, and it’s worthwhile watching the tape.
With Kim’s posting, is there any chance the Mariners go after him? Should the Mariners go after him either way?
As always, if the price is right, Kim could be a solid pickup for the Mariners, providing extra depth to a young roster. But I think the Mariners would want him starting out in Triple-A Tacoma, and after 7 years in the KBO I doubt Kim would want to start his career in the MLB in the Minor Leagues.
It will be interesting to see what sort of attention Kwang-Hyun Kim gets– he certainly won’t get the years or money Yu Darvish or Masahiro Tanaka got on their arrivals. But he certainly can give a team a back-of-the-rotation southpaw.
It wouldn’t surprise me if whoever picks him up starts him out as a long reliever in the bullpen like the Mariners did with Hisashi Iwakuma a few years back. Then, if and when, an injury occurs, they’ve got a guy with experience to replace. Granted it’s not MLB experience, but he’s pitched against professionals before.
Personally, I don’t think the Mariners should touch Kim, and I don’t expect him to become anything spectacular in the MLB. With the M’s wealth of young pitching, I say let the kids play, and maybe, maybe, go out and find a number two starter like Jon Lester.
But signing an overseas risk when this team is so close to being a playoff contender would be foolhardy and a waste of money.