Korea’s protest has apparently won out: according to MASN’s Roch Kubatko, MLB is set to void the contract agreed to by the Orioles and 17-year-old left-hander Seong-Min Kim on Jan. 30.
The KBO filed a letter of protest over the signing earlier this month, stating that the Orioles failed to go through the proper channels in signing an amatuer Korean player. The Orioles acknowledged the breach in protocol, with GM Dan Duquette apologizing earlier this month for not doing a status check through the commissioner’s office.
As a response to the signing, the Korean Baseball Association, which holds sway over amateur baseball, banned Orioles scouts from attending high school and college games in the country.
Kubatko’s tweet indicates that Kim will be made a free agent and that the Orioles will be eligible to re-sign him at a later date.
Pitcher David Phelps has a torn UCL and will undergo Tommy John surgery, ending his 2018 season, the Mariners announced on Wednesday. Phelps was making brief one-inning stints in the Cactus League as he worked his way back from a procedure to remove a bone spur from his elbow last September. He said he felt the ligament tear on his final pitch against the Angels in his March 17 appearance.
Phelps, 31, was expected to set up for closer Edwin Diaz. The right-hander, between the Marlins and Mariners last season, posted a 3.40 ERA with a 62/26 K/BB ratio in 55 2/3 innings. He and the Mariners avoided arbitration in January, agreeing on a $5.55 million salary for the 2018 campaign. Phelps will become eligible to become a free agent at the end of the season.
As the Mariners noted in their statement, the expected recovery period for Tommy John surgery is 12-15 months, so this very likely cuts into Phelps’ 2019 season as well.