Orioles officially announce signing of Suk-min Yoon

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The Orioles officially announced the signing of South Korean right-hander Suk-min Yoon this afternoon. As it was reported late last week, he agreed to a three-year, $5.75 million contract.

The pre-signing physical was the last thing standing in the way of the deal becoming official today. And that has been anything but a formality with the Orioles this winter, as deals with Grant Balfour and Tyler Colvin were both nixed due to issues raised during their physical exams. However, Yoon apparently checked out just fine, even though he dealt with some shoulder issues last season.

Here’s an announcement from Orioles executive vice president Dan Duquette:

“We are excited to bring Suk-min Yoon to the organization. He has been a top pitcher in the Korea Baseball Organization and has pitched successfully in international competition. We look forward to his contributions to the Orioles.”

Yoon, 27, posted a 3.19 ERA over nine seasons with the KIA Tigers of the Korean Baseball Organization and took home Most Valuable Player honors in 2011. He saw his performance and velocity drop off after participating in the World Baseball Classic last year, posting a 4.00 ERA and a 76/28 K/BB ratio in 87 2/3 innings between the rotation and the bullpen. It’s not clear yet how the Orioles intend to use him.

Oakland Athletics reverse course: will continue to pay minor leaguers

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Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle reports that Oakland Athletics owner John Fisher has reversed course and will continue to pay minor leaguers. Fisher tells Slusser, “I concluded I made a mistake.” He said he is also setting up an assistance fund for furloughed employees.

The A’s decided in late May to stop paying paying minor leaguers as of June 1, which was the earliest date on which any club could do so after an MLB-wide agreement to pay minor leaguers through May 31 expired. In the event, the A’s were the only team to stop paying the $400/week stipends to players before the end of June. Some teams, notable the Royals and Twins, promised to keep the payments up through August 31, which is when the minor league season would’ve ended. The Washington Nationals decided to lop off $100 of the stipends last week but, after a day’s worth of blowback from the media and fans, reversed course themselves.