Hyun-soo Kim signed with the Orioles from Korea this past winter. His deal is weird: it’s a two-year, $7 million contract with the proviso that, if the Orioles don’t keep him on the major league roster, they must release him but still pay him the entire $7 million. Basically, a fancy Rule 5 pick. A guy who agreed to come to the U.S. to play in the bigs, not the minors.
The problem: the Orioles don’t want him on the big league roster. The 27-year-old outfielder hasn’t hit a lick this spring, going 8-for-44 in 48 plate appearances. They told him that they’d like him to consider a demotion to the minors. Earlier today there was a report out of Baltimore that he was considering it — remember, he doesn’t have to.
Ken Rosenthal reports now, however, that Kim is resisting a demotion to Triple-A Norfolk. Maybe thinking that $7 million in his pocket and a plane ticket home is a more inviting proposition than an indefinite stint in the International League.
Can’t say I wouldn’t be considering exercising that right myself if I was in his shoes. It all likely comes down to whether he thinks the O’s have given up on him, I suppose.