Could the Twins and Korean slugger Byung-ho Park be close to finalizing a contract?
According to Naver Sports (via a translated report from Mike Berardino of the St. Paul Pioneer Press), Park is scheduled to travel to the United States on Sunday. The 29-year-old is expected to make a quick stop in Chicago to meet with his agent, Alan Nero, before coming to Minnesota to see Twins officials and take a physical exam. If all goes well, a contract could be finalized as soon as next week.
The Twins bid $12.85 million last month to secure exclusive negotiating rights with Park. The deadline to complete a deal is December 8. If a deal is not worked out, Park would remain with the Nexen Heroes in the KBO (Korea Baseball Organization) and the Twins would not have to pay the posting fee.
Right now, it’s unclear how far along the two sides are in negotiations. However, Berardino hears that a guarantee in the range of $20-30 million is reasonable to expect.
Park, a two-time MVP in the KBO, has amassed 105 home runs in 268 games over the past two seasons. It’s hard to tell how those numbers will translate, even after the success of Jung Ho Kang this season, but the Twins are hoping he can be a middle-of-the-order force.
We have more details about Yasiel Puig‘s reported “brawl” at a bar in Miami. And while it’s a regrettable situation, it appears to be less serious than previously believed.
According to Dylan Hernandez of the Los Angeles Times, Major Delrish Moss of the Miami Police Department confirmed that Puig was involved in a fight with a bouncer. However, Moss described it more as a “scuffle” than a “brawl.” The Dodgers outfielder suffered injuries to his face, including a swollen left eye, while the bouncer was left with a “busted lip” among other minor facial injuries.
While the bouncer alleged that he was sucker-punched by Puig, Moss said that neither were interested in pressing charges. As a result, the Miami Police Department considers the case closed.
TMZ reported that the fight with the bouncer took place after Puig got into a physical altercation with his sister. However, Moss said that “no shoving was alleged” and that “to the best of our knowledge, the only physical altercation was between the bouncer and Puig.”
Major League Baseball is still expected to investigate the incident under their new domestic violence policy.
Some surprising news to pass along here, as Jeeho Yoo of the Yonhap News Agency reports that no MLB team placed a bid on Korean outfielder Ah-seop Son.
Son, who turns 28 in March, batted .317/.406/.472 with 13 home runs and 11 stolen bases in 116 games this past season for the Lotte Giants of the Korea Baseball Organization. He was expected to garner plenty of interest after being put through the posting process, with one report suggesting the Orioles could make a bid. The deadline to submit bids was last Friday.
Son wasn’t regarded to be on the same level as slugging first baseman Byung-ho Park, who the Twins recently bid $12.85 million to secure exclusive negotiating rights. Still, it comes as a surprise to learn that nobody made a bid.
Yahoo Sports’ Jeff Passan writes that Jae-gyun Hwang, also from the Lotte Giants, is expected to be posted next. The 28-year-old third baseman slugged 28 home runs with an .870 OPS over 144 games this past season and has drawn interest from the Dodgers, among others.
11 days shy of his 70th birthday, Hall of Famer Rod Carew suffered a massive heart attack while golfing in California on September 20. After undergoing a six-hour open heart surgery, the 18-time All-Star had a Left Ventricular Assist Device (LVAD) installed. He’s now hoping for a heart transplant.
Carew told his story in an excellent piece from Steve Rushin of Sports Illustrated. Below is just a part of it, but I promise you it’s worth taking a few minutes to read it all.
Carew is sitting in an easy chair. Minx, a black Bombay cat, is perched above his right shoulder. Both exude a quiet grace—they look equally feline in repose—and there’s a brief silence in the house as Carew considers that a kind of mechanical heart has been implanted in his chest, alongside his damaged one. After a moment, the most elegant hitter of his generation puts his face in his hands and sobs.
“I was dead,” he says, “and they brought me back to life.”
Earlier this month, Carew became the fastest patient ever to be released from LVAD rehab at Scripps Memorial Hospital. He’s now focused on becoming healthy enough to qualify for the transplant list, but he also wants to use his situation to inspire others who may require LVAD surgery or transplantation. As for his future, Carew has goals of attending spring training in March and the Hall of Fame induction next July.
We’re all rooting for you, Mr. Carew.
Coming off a disappointing first season with the Red Sox, Hanley Ramirez told Enrique Rojas of ESPN Deportes that he plans to play winter ball in the Dominican Republic in order to prepare for 2016.
After inking a four-year, $88 million deal with Boston last November, Ramirez batted just .241 with 19 home runs and a .717 OPS this past season while battling a nagging right shoulder injury. The injury kept him out of action for the final five weeks of the season, but he told Rojas that he’s feeling good now.
Ramirez’s defense in left field was a disaster this season, so the Red Sox plan to move him to first base in 2016. His shoulder injury prevented him from getting any reps at his new position in September, but winter ball could give him that opportunity. The Red Sox have also told him to lose some weight and he’s apparently taking that edict seriously.