The Braves have reportedly scouted 27-year old Korean outfielder Hyun-Soo Kim. Kim is known as one of the best hitters for average in the KBO, and has won the batting title there as well as 3 Gold Gloves. I would be skeptical of an international signing, but seeing how well Jung Ho Kang has done in Pittsburgh has me really watering at the mouth for Kim.
Since 2006, Kim has hit .318 with 142 HRs and 771 RBIs. He’s already developed and since he meets the requirements, does NOT have to enter the international draft. With the Braves’ newfound cap freedom, they are pursuing him and may have already offered him a deal. Kim would NOT have to report to the minors, and since he plays left field, would probably shift Olivera back to 3B.
We’re a long shot for Kim, but he would be worth the money. The only hurdle in this process is the negotiating bid price. The Twins just put down $12.85 Million to negotiate with 1B Byung-Ho Park. Even though it would be tough, I think it would be worth the money considering this free agent class is thin, and we would spend more on a player of his caliber that is likely to be 5 or so years older in free agency. In 2008, Kim hit .357 and hit .357 again in 2009. Jung Ho Kang hit .287 with 15 HRs, so I believe Kim’s success can translate to the MLB. Kang signed for 4 years, $11 million after a $5 million bid. I expect Kim to be slightly more expensive, but nothing we can’t handle. The Braves have not shied away from the international market in the past calendar year, so it will not be too shocking to see them try to bid for negotiating rights.
My Offer: 4 years, $15 Million