Twins, Red Sox interested in Korean pitcher Suk-Min Yoon

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Peter Gammons tweets that the Twins and Red Sox have shown interest in 27-year-old Korean free agent pitcher Suk-Min Yoon, and suggests the Giants would be a good fit for the right-hander as well. The Twins’ interest in Yoon, represented by Scott Boras, is interesting given that they have already spent a lot of money signing Ricky Nolasco, Phil Hughes, and Mike Pelfrey. The interest from the Red Sox makes a bit more sense.

Just about all of the foreign free agent focus has been on Japanese right-hander Masahiro Tanaka. Yoon isn’t of Tanaka’s caliber, but could be a relatively cheap and productive option for teams low on enthusiasm with the remaining free agents and low on interest in getting involved in the nine-figure Tanaka sweepstakes. Yoon, who was the MVP in 2011 in the Korean Baseball Organization, has pitched both as a starter and as a reliever, but he has been and will continue to be marketed as a starter.

MLB rejected Players’ 114-game season proposal, will not send a counter

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Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic reports that Major League Baseball has rejected the MLBPA’s proposal for a 114-game season and said it would not send a counter offer. The league said it has started talks with owners “about playing a shorter season without fans, and that it is ready to discuss additional ideas with the union.”

This should be understood as a game of chicken.

The background here is that the the owners are pretty much locked into the idea of paying players a prorated share of their regular salaries based on number of games played. The players, meanwhile, are pretty much locked in to the idea that the owners can set the length of the season that is played. Each side is trying to leverage their power in this regard.

The players proposed a probably unworkable number of games — 114 — as a means of setting the bidding high on a schedule that will work out well for them financially. Say, a settled agreement at about 80 games or so. The owners were rumored to be considering a counteroffer of a low number of games — say, 50 — as a means of still getting a significant pay cut from the players even if they’re being paid prorata. What Rosenthal is now reporting is that they won’t even counter with that.

Which is to say that the owners are trying to get the players to come off of their prorated salary rights under the threat of a very short schedule that would end up paying them very little. They won’t formally offer that short schedule, however, likely because (a) they believe that the threat of uncertain action is more formidable; and (b) they don’t want to be in the position of publicly demanding fewer baseball games, which doesn’t look very good to fans. They’d rather be in the position of saying “welp, the players wouldn’t talk to us about money so we have no choice, they forced us into 50 games.”

In other news, the NBA seems very close to getting its season resumed.