UPDATE: An agreement has been reached, as Eduardo A. Encina of the Baltimore Sun reports that the Orioles have have released Yoon. This clears the way for him to sign with the Kia Tigers of the Korea Baseball Organization.
1:13 p.m. ET: Last offseason the Orioles signed Korean right-hander Suk-min Yoon to a three-year, $5.75 million contract, but the first season of the deal went so poorly that the two sides are now figuring out how to part ways.
Eduardo Encina of the Baltimore Sun reports that the Orioles and Yoon are “working to finalize a deal that would allow Yoon out of his MLB contract.” He would then return to Korea, where the 28-year-old was a former MVP.
After signing the three-year deal with the Orioles visa issues delayed Yoon’s arrival to spring training and he was sent to Triple-A, where he stayed for the entire season while posting a 5.74 ERA and 67/26 K/BB ratio in 96 innings.
For now the Rangers are saying it’s no big deal, but Yu Darvish exited his first spring training start today after just one inning and given his elbow problems last season it’s definitely worrisome.
Today’s issue is officially being termed tightness in his right triceps.
Darvish spent the final six weeks of last season on the disabled list, limiting him to just 22 starts and 144 innings. Before the injury he was his usual dominant self, posting a 3.06 ERA with 11.3 strikeouts per nine innings.
This morning much was made of left-hander Phil Coke bypassing major-league contract offers to sign a minor-league deal with the Cubs, but as we’ve seen numerous times this offseason more and more minor-league deals are being signed with significant Opening Day roster guarantees attached.
In other words, teams are looking to hand out minor-league deals to mediocre veterans like Coke because they want to avoid using up a 40-man roster spot until it’s necessary and want to avoid being locked into guaranteed money if the player looks awful during spring training.
But then, if the player cracks the Opening Day roster, he gets paid just like he would if it were a major-league contract. In this case, Chris Iott of MLive.com reports that Coke’s deal is worth $2.25 million in upfront money if he makes the Opening Day roster and includes another $900,000 in appearance-based incentives.
So yes, it’s a minor-league deal. But it’s a minor-league deal with major-league money attached.
A.J. Griffin is apparently preparing himself for ways to make money if this whole comeback from Tommy John surgery thing doesn’t work out.
Erik Bedard is a 36-year-old veteran of 11 seasons and 1,300 innings in the big leagues who hasn’t pitched in the minors regularly since 2003, so how does he feel knowing that odds are the Dodgers will send him to Triple-A at the end of spring training?
Here’s what he told Mark Saxon of ESPN Los Angeles:
I know where I stand. It feels fine. The game’s still fun and I like playing baseball is, basically, what it comes down to.
Bedard signed a minor-league deal with the Dodgers in mid-January to provide rotation depth, but since then they’ve added even more veteran pitchers trying to resurrect their careers and/or return from injuries.
Bedard hasn’t posted a sub-4.50 ERA since 2011 and is coming back from shoulder surgery, telling Saxon: “I used to throw hard. Now, not so hard.”
Next month we’ll probably find out how his age-36 raw stuff fares against Pacific Coast League hitters.