Orioles apologize for “unintentional breach of protocol” in signing 17-year-old Korean pitcher

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Earlier this week, the Korean Baseball Organization (KBO) filed a complaint with MLB alleging that the Orioles broke protocol by signing 17-year-old left-hander Kim Seong-Min last month. The Korean Baseball Association (KBA), a separate organization, went a step further by banning Orioles’ scouts from attending local games. Well, tonight the Orioles responded.

Courtesy of Eduardo A. Encina of the Baltimore Sun, Orioles executive vice president Dan Duquette issued the following apology, via press release, to the KBO and KBA:

“On behalf of the Orioles organization, I offer a sincere apology to the Korea Baseball Organization and the Korea Baseball Association for the club’s unintentional breach of protocol in failing to tender a status check in the process of signing Seong-Min Kim. The Orioles respect Major League Baseball’s recruiting policies and the governing bodies and people that contribute to the growth of baseball around the world.”

I didn’t think it could get more embarrassing for the Orioles than their general manager search earlier this offseason, but we might have ourselves a new winner. This apology is better late than never, I suppose, but isn’t it a little curious they released this on a Friday night when a lot of folks (at least stateside) aren’t paying attention? This is what happens when you miss baseball and love a little conspiracy.

Padres sign Aaron Loup to a one-year deal

Aaron Loup
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Free agent lefty reliever Aaron Loup has been given a locker in the Padres’ clubhouse, AJ Cassavell of MLB.com reported Sunday. Per MLB Network’s Jon Heyman, Loup received a one-year MLB deal with a club option for 2020. The Padres will shift right-hander Garrett Richards to the 60-day injured list to make room on the 40-man roster.

Loup, 31, began the 2018 season with the Blue Jays and was traded to the Phillies for minor league right-hander Jacob Waguespack at the midseason deadline. The veteran left-hander pitched just two innings in Philadelphia before hitting the injured list with a forearm strain and returned for a handful of appearances at the end of the year, bringing him up to a 4.54 ERA, 3.2 BB/9, 10.0 SO/9, and 0.3 fWAR across 39 2/3 combined innings.

Assuming health issues don’t complicate his next campaign in San Diego, Loup will be added to the bullpen alongside fellow left-handers Matt Strahm and José Castillo (with the possible late addition of southpaw reliever Brad Wieck, who underwent surgery for testicular cancer earlier this year). There are worse places to be — according to FanGraphs, the Padres’ ‘pen jumped from second-worst in 2017 to second-best in the league with a cumulative 3.53 ERA, 3.31 FIP, and 8.7 fWAR in 2018.