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The Orioles sign Suk-Min Yoon to a three-year, $5.75 million deal

Feb 13, 2014, 9:52 AM EDT

Suk Min Yoon

Jon Heyman reports that the Orioles have reached agreement with right-hander Suk-Min Yoon on a three-year, $5.75 million deal.

Yoon was the 2011 MVP of the Korean Baseball Organization. He is purported to have a 93 m.p.h. fastball, a hard slider and what scouts say is an above-average change. In 172 1/3 innings this past season he had 178 strikeouts and a 2.45 ERA. Of course, that was in the KBO, and that does not profile as even a Triple-A level league. It’s sort of hard, therefore, to gauge how he’ll do here.

He has been both a starter and a reliever, but it’s not clear how the O’s plan to use him. They may not even know yet.

  1. proudlycanadian - Feb 13, 2014 at 9:56 AM

    Beware the dreaded physical! I believe that he had some sort of arm problem last season.

    • mmeyer3387 - Feb 13, 2014 at 2:17 PM

      Yes, the physical jokes are not that funny anymore (Any one can make them). That being said,many may point out that Yoon has had a past arm trouble and most teams didn’t show much interest in his workout. First, the few teams that did attend his work out did also looked into his past health and present issues. No doubt, his physical and scouting data will be deeply analyzed. Along with these factors, let us remember that he is a young player and not some old late 30’s pitcher. Second, just because little attention and most teams didn’t invest much interest in him does not revile how he will pan out this season. Additionally, most teams do not invest a lot of time or money to scout Korean players (in the near future, many may start.) These factors, along with a small contract, make Yoon a low risk/high reward possibility. Clearly, no one knows how he will perform until he’s competed against top MLB talent. But Just food for thought, Chen also shared many of these traits just a few years ago.

  2. tfbuckfutter - Feb 13, 2014 at 9:57 AM

    If he passes the Orioles physical he should win BSOHL MVP.

    • proudlycanadian - Feb 13, 2014 at 10:30 AM

      If you check out reports about his health, there were questions about his arm last season.

      • beachnbaseball - Feb 13, 2014 at 10:58 AM

        It was a shoulder issue. But if it works out well for Baltimore, then every time he pitches, Camden Yards will be rockin’ with “You Suk!” chants.

      • jwbiii - Feb 13, 2014 at 11:36 AM

  3. mmeyer3387 - Feb 13, 2014 at 10:14 AM

    Besides all the physical jokes, this is High reward & low risk.signing. What’s more, the Orioles may have found a gem under a rock. He could be another Wei-Yin Chen, only time will tell.

    • paperlions - Feb 13, 2014 at 10:24 AM

      I agree that there is certainly no risk here….but it does make me wonder what his upside is. Many teams thoroughly scout Asian leagues, so it isn’t like they are going to know something no one else did. The contract suggests that teams think his upside is middle reliever.

      Of course, he could wind up being far better than that….but if anyone thought he could start or be an elite reliever, they would have offered more than this.

      • Charles Gates - Feb 13, 2014 at 10:34 AM

        Generally $/WAR arguments are blah, but for high level they suffice for ballpark value. Current reports say incentives can bring the deal to $13MM. Going rate for 1 WAR on a free agent is ~$5MM. Even if he’s a 1 WAR situational RP, he’s still providing surplus value.

        Besides, the FA well is pretty dry at this point. As much as I think this is a pretty good move by Duquette, he had to sign someone to (partially) save face.

      • paperlions - Feb 13, 2014 at 10:57 AM

        Yeah, I don’t much care for $/WAR discussions either. They are based on far too much assumption and ignore many other aspects of value (e.g. cost of roster spot, the fact that FA is easily the most expensive way to add wins).

        I think the move is okay…I am just saying that if anyone thought he could be a solid #4 starter or an elite reliever, he would have got something closer to the deals of such MLB players. Vargas is a pretty blah pitcher whose upside is non-disastrous back of the rotation starter, and he got $32M over 4 years.

      • randomdigits - Feb 13, 2014 at 11:07 AM

        They stole Chen. Very team friendly deal so I guess in that case they had a better read then the rest of the teams.

      • dlgdc - Feb 13, 2014 at 1:19 PM

        But the Orioles did know something no other teams did when they signed Koji Uehara and Wei Yin Chen. No other teams were competing with the O’s for them, so there is a chance Yoon could be good. Chen and Uehara made more that Yoon is going to, but no much more, just relative to the leagues they came from.

      • paperlions - Feb 13, 2014 at 1:31 PM

        Again, different situations….a lot more teams scout those markets now and obviously many teams were competing for his services. With inflation, Yoon’s salary is a lot less than Uehara’s or Chen’s.

  4. yahmule - Feb 13, 2014 at 11:19 AM

    I think it was a good signing, but it all hinges on his shoulder. His fastball velocity was low 90’s and he really can’t afford to lose much there. He is supposed to have good command and a pretty decent repertoire, so he could profile as a four or five.

  5. Old Gator - Feb 13, 2014 at 11:28 AM

    Owner of the most unfortunate name in baseball….

    • billybawl - Feb 13, 2014 at 12:20 PM

      He has the potential to be the next Rusty Kuntz.

      My all time favorite is Mickey Klutts. Wish he’d played with Willie Eyre.

  6. uyf1950 - Feb 13, 2014 at 11:46 AM

    Just to clarify one thing the Orioles have not signed Yoon yet. They have agreed to sign him, but the signing isn’t official until AFTER he takes and passes his physical. Now I’m not going to make the standard Orioles and physical jokes but considering he had shoulder troubles in 2013 passing his physical is NOT assured and considering it’s the Orioles passing the his physical takes on even more importance.

    I agree with the other poster(s) that said this is a low risk/high reward potential sign, I also agree with those that said if Yoon was considered even a #4 starter he would have been pursued by more teams and signed for a lot guaranteed money. Heck look at what Phil Hughes signed for 3 years / $24MM.

    The chances of everyone being wrong and the Orioles being right well those chances are what they are. Personally I think this is deal someone in the Orioles organization felt they had to make to at the very least show their fan base they were doing something.

  7. yordo - Feb 13, 2014 at 12:55 PM

    That’s some heavy spending there, Orioles. We all take you seriously now.

  8. musketmaniac - Feb 13, 2014 at 6:26 PM

    nice name suck my what. reminds me of the old college football coach Wynn yun soon

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