SEOUL, Dec. 4 (Korea Bizwire) - South Korean free agent outfielder Kim Hyun-soo has received offers from “multiple” Major League Baseball (MLB) clubs, an informed industry source told Yonhap News Agency on Friday.
The source said that Kim has “concrete offers” on the table from the big league clubs but declined to identify the teams, citing the sensitive nature of contract negotiations.
Kim, 27, became a free agent in the Korea Baseball Organization (KBO) on Nov. 21, after completing the equivalent of nine full seasons, all of them with the Doosan Bears in Seoul. He later announced that he’d like to play in the MLB “if conditions are right.”
Between Nov. 22 and 28, Kim could only negotiate with the Bears but told the KBO team that he’d first seek opportunities in the majors.
Kim is able to talk with any club other than Doosan in the KBO or any foreign league team until Dec. 5.
The final negotiating period for all unsigned KBO free agents to talk to their original clubs, as well as other teams, is between Dec. 6 and Jan. 15.
On Tuesday, the MLB tendered a status check on Kim, a formal administrative step before a big league club can sign South Korean professional players.
Major league scouts took in several Doosan games in 2015. High-ranking scouts from the Atlanta Braves even followed the Bears on the road to watch Kim in action.
According to another baseball source, the Oakland Athletics are also taking a long look at the outfielder. The source said a regional scout for the A’s compiled “a glowing report” on Kim that has piqued interest among higher-ups.
In a crowded market for outfielders this winter, Kim will be competing with more established big leaguers, such as Yoenis Cespedes, Alex Gordon, Justin Upton and Jason Heyward.
Kim’s South Korean agent, Esther Lee of the Leeco Sports Agency, is scheduled to depart for Nashville, Tennessee, on Saturday for the annual MLB Winter Meetings from Dec. 7-10. These meetings bring together thousands of club executives, managers, scouts, lawyers and agents. Kim is represented by Wasserman Media Group in the United States.’