A strong market has yet to develop for Korean right-hander Suk-Min Yoon, but Peter Gammons tweeted late last week that the Boston Red Sox are believed to be one of two teams interested in signing the free agent. Gammons notes that the Minnesota Twins are also interested, while an unnamed team executive speculates that the San Francisco Giants could also be a fit.
Minnesota’s level of interest is unclear. The team was linked to Yoon earlier this offseason but have since signed three starters on the free agent market already.
Yoon has spent much of his career in Korea with the Kia Tigers bouncing between the rotation and the bullpen, with some limited experience as a closer. The 26 year old threw 87.2 IP in 2013 while dealing with an unspecified shoulder issue, posting a 4.00 ERA and roughly a 1.367 WHIP. Scouts have said that his fastball tends to sit around 93 MPH and he possesses an above average changeup. He played for the Korean team in the 2008 Summer Olympics as well as for the 2009 and 2013 World Baseball Classic. He’s represented by Scott Boras.
In a post at Gammons Daily, Gammons notes that the Red Sox could be viewing Yoon as a depth signing given the extended workload that many of the team’s pitchers experienced this past season from the lengthy playoff run. The team currently has six starters on the active roster with a handful of additional options slated to begin the year at Triple-A, but Yoon’s versatility and experience as a starter and reliever could be an added appeal.
It’s tough to predict what a potential deal for Yoon might look like. Some pundits have pointed towards the three year, $11 Million deal that Wei-Yin Chen signed with the Baltimore Orioles prior to the 2012 season as a comparable. Yoon has been called the second best starter in the KBO in the past, behind Hyun-Jin Ryu who signed a six year, $36 Million deal to join the Los Angeles Dodgers a year ago.