suk-min yoonHe led off yesterday’s Lukewarm Stove as the kind of player the Chicago Cubs might pursue, and I said, for that reason, we were likely to hear more about him as the offseason approaches. Well, it didn’t take long.

Suk-Min Yoon (or Seok-Min Yoon) is a 27-year-old righty free agent who has pitched for the past nine season in Korea (KBO), and is preparing to take his talents to the States for the 2014 season with the help of new agent Scott Boras. According to at least one report out of Korea, the Cubs might be the team receiving those talents.

Arirang News, frequently a solid source for baseball news out of Korea, says that Yoon has arrived in the United States, where he will presumably work out for teams, and connects him specifically to the Chicago Cubs and Minnesota Twins. Arirang claims “rumors” are that the Cubs are “keen on signing” Yoon.

Yoon, who started his KBO career at 19, doesn’t have stats that scream stud conversation to the States, but they’re good. For his career, Yoon’s got a 3.19 ERA in the KBO, which is well below league average (the KBO tends to be a little more offensively-inclinded than the NBP (Japan) – for reference, a 3.19 ERA is likely to put you in the top ten in the league every year).

That said, Yoon is coming off the worst year of his career, posting a 4.00 ERA, with 28 BBs and 76 Ks in just 87.2 innings. He spent a fair bit of time in the bullpen this year, after long being a starter, reportedly because he volunteered to move to the pen to help his struggling team out.

It’s unlikely that Yoon will command a significant contract, though his age and past success at least make him an intriguing target. For comparison’s sake, Yoon is a couple years older than Hyun-Jin Ryu, who came over from the KBO to the Dodgers this year and pitched extremely well. Ryu had a better career ERA (2.80), threw far more innings, struck out more per inning, walked fewer per inning, and was generally regarded as a harder-throwing pitcher with better stuff.

Even the Arirang report questions whether Yoon is a starter at the MLB level, or if he’s a middle reliever. Against all of that backdrop, he’ll be a guy to watch this offseason, and remains an interesting target for the Cubs. But an organization-shifting international signing (like a Masahiro Tanaka, for example), he likely is not.

A little video on Yoon, featuring lots of silly strikeouts:

  • CGruegs45

    Chang dou min sun kim yung chun imigaoua

  • ETS


    • ETS

      Still bummed we missed out on Ryu. Ryu was a sure thing, because even if he ended up being terrible we’d still have some sweet street fighter 2 crossover shirts out of the deal.

    • Funn Dave

      That was my initial reaction, but now I’m thinking that since the FO has stated that they aren’t planning on spending big money on big names, this guy could be a nice target. Although they’d still have Boras to contend with.

  • macpete22

    I’m digging his earring

    • Cub Lew

      First thing I noticed too. Hashtag Thug Life

  • Kyle

    Yeah, we get the generic, off-brand Tanaka.

    • Brett

      That’s a reasonable joke, though they do play in different leagues …

    • On The Farm

      There are somethings you should buy off brand. Like cereal. There are somethings you shouldn’t buy off brand. Like toilet paper.

      • Jon

        And starting pitchers from Japan and Asia

        • Brett

          I think you should probably research that a bit – the success/failure rate of “name” Asian pitchers versus less-discussed guys is probably pretty close to equal. And the latter category cost a hell of a lot less.

          No one ever seems to discuss this guy, for whatever reason:

          • Jon

            That’s fascinating., But Yoon’s numbers were pretty pedestrian last year so all things being equal, I”d like to see the FO go all out on Tananka. Getting both would be ok as well.

            • waittilthisyear

              you watch this video? this guy has a 22 kph difference between his fastball and changeup! (note: i have little idea what that means). also, the korean umpires may outdo our american boys when it comes to called third strikes

              • DocPeterWimsey

                If both pitches look the same coming out of his hands, then it means a lot of guys taking “high” fastballs for strikes, and a lot of guys rolling over their wrists to slow the bats down to make contact on “red zone” fastballs that arrive a a tenth of a second later and about 3-4 inches lower than the pitch at which they swung.

          • Blublud

            If there is anyone who doesn’t know who he is, then they clearly don’t watch much baseball.

            • Voice of Reason

              And, going by your past posts, just because you know a name certainly doesn’t mean you know baseball.

              • Blublud

                Right, and going by your name, people should know that anyone can pull a name out of their Keister.

                I can bet, and more then prove that more of what I say happens then what you stupid ass says. And that has nothing to do with me playing baseball.

                • ThisSiteSucks

                  This site has become a joke every person thinks they are god on here and act like little bitches all the time. Now go waste your time responding to this post you little puppets but I will not see it cause I will be on a better site with far less pieces of shit.

                  • TC

                    DING DING DING

                    THERE’S THE MAGIC WORDS

                    ENJOY YOUR BANHAMMER

                    • hansman

                      My guess is they won’t notice the banhammer.

                  • Chef Brian

                    Bye, bye…

                  • Brett

                    Thanks for reading!

                  • C. Steadman

                    betcha 5 bucks he came back and read the replies…curiousity killed the cat…and it also kills trolls

          • dumbledoresacubsfan

            Easily one of the most underrated pitchers in the MLB

        • On The Farm

          “And starting pitchers from Japan and Asia”

          Isn’t Japan part of Asia?

          • Jono

            ^^^She’s a witch!^^^

      • Jon

        Oh, I forgot Q-Tips, I don’t know what it is about the generic q-tips, but they sucks.

        • gratefulled

          Truer words have never been said. It’s like cleaning your ear with a dowel rod.

          • Blublud

            You, you probably shouldn’t clean your ear witha Q-tip to start with. It’s not suggested and can be damaging to your ear. Try a wash cloth on the tip of you pinky finger. Much less dangerous.

            • Jon

              yeah, that doesn’t work.

      • Frankfort Dave

        Nothing wrong with off-brand toilet paper…..unless you buy it “with splinters”

    • When the Music’s Over

      Yeah, when the Cubs land this guy and just barely miss out on Tanaka, they can then posture/sell this move as the next best thing, and of course then feel they should be applauded for their efforts.

      I kid, sort of…..

  • Jon

    I was at a brothel overseas and paid $25 for a Suk Min Yoon, it blew my mind I tell ya.,

    • Dumpgobbler

      Really? I’ve heard if you don’t know what a Suk Min Yoon is you certainly can’t afford it. Conflicting reports..

    • CubsFaninMS

      With “Min” in the name, you better hope Korea does not share the same androgynous cultural segment as Thailand. Unless you prefer that, of course. ha

  • Jay

    $60 million posting fee? NO THANKS. That’s just idiotic.

    • Jay

      For Tanaka I mean. This guy we don’t have to post for, but unless he comes on the cheap, why bother? We’ve got a pile of guys who project as back-end starters or space-fillers in the pen.

      • Eternal Pessimist

        I agree Jay…I don’t really see where we need him, unless he is a cheap guy to stash in the minors to see if he will develop further.

        • Eternal Pessimist

          …except about Tanaka. Depends on what you have to give up for the player and Tanaka may be special. He doesn’t cost a prospect (and a decent prospect can have some serious $ value attached to him) and we have a space for Tanaka right now. Would love to get Tanaka on a 5 year deal that doesn’t break the bank.

          • Chrisfchi

            I would like to see us get Tanaka for around $16-18mil for 6-7 years. I think that’s not only a fair offer, but also about what he would be looking for

            • C. Steadman

              if we win the posting fee, tanaka will be alot cheaper than 16-18mil per year…the AAV of Darvish’s contract is 9mil

              • Chrisfchi

                Ah, forgot about the post fee.

                • C. Steadman

                  wish there wasnt one…but the Japanese teams need incentive to release their players to the MLB

                  • Chrisfchi

                    When it comes down to the Price/Tanaka debate, I would rather the money be spent on Tanaka.

        • cubbiesOHcubbies

          REALLY???? We lost roughly 200 games combined the last two seasons. The list of players we DON’T need, is probably pretty short. Off hand I got Koyie Hill and Neifi Perez. Who else am I missing here?

          • Eternal Pessimist

            Our problem last year (and probably in 2014) had nothing to do with not having enough #4-5 pitching (we still seem OK there) and had something to do with poor relief (we look better situated this year and I wouldn’t want to make our investment there).

            • SH

              This. Our problem isn’t that we want for mid-to-low end/”flyer” type players. We have a lineup of loveable 7/8-hole hitters and a rotation of loveable 4/5 slot starters; we lack for impact talent. There’s three ways to get it — sign it (not gonna happen under this ownership, at least not right now), grow it (will take another 2-3 years until we grow enough of it to make a serious difference at the major league level), or trade for it (using our prospects, who we seem — popularly, at least on these boards — to be clinging tightly to).

    • Blublud

      I guess you don’t ever want to spend any money. Dont wanna sign Cano, Abreu, Tanaka, trade for and sign Price, or any other player who may be elite. I getting the feeling the Cubs are using your money to run the team.

    • Jon

      Yeah, if you win the bid, you usually get a discount on the actual contract as you then are the only player. Including the posting fee, the Rangers got Darvish for 6 years 110 million. Not a bad deal at all.

      • Kyle

        That’s an insane bargain. I wanted him so bad :(

        • YourResidentJag

          That would have been $$ well spent.

        • MightyBear

          I did too.

  • Frank

    You forgot generic birth control pills.

  • MightyBear

    Any word on how hard his fastball is and what other pitches he has? One of the reasons it’s easier to scout Asian pitchers as opposed to Asian hitters is you can measure how hard they throw, the repertoire of pitches, command of the strike zone (walks). With hitters if a guy hits 355 in Korea is that the equivalent of AAA here? Will he make the transition here? etc

  • Jono

    pitching pitching pitching. The more depth the better

  • DarthHater

    Having a pitcher named Suk on the staff could have definite efficiency advantages.

    • Jono

      depends. Is his first name Jonathan or Sonny? Is he 5’11” or 6’4″? Let’s discuss this for the next ten minutes

      • Blublud

        I laughed. Darth getting a dose of his own medicine.

        • Jono

          i was being sarcastic. I don’t think darth is as petty as people were treating him

          • Jon

            Let’s see, refusing to admit ones own mistake and then pooping all over the authors content, accusing him of not prosing his paragraphs correctly. It was hilarious and sad.

            • DarthHater

              Keep dwelling on it, Jon. you’re not sad at all.

            • Jono

              peoples’ reaction to darth was the hilarious and sad part

              • Blublud

                No, Darths response was definitely the hilarious and sad part. He refused to admit he was wrong, something he rides other people for.

                But, when you are very rarely wrong, such as Darth, I guess its a learning process to admit it. :-)

              • mjhurdle

                agreed jono. the strange part was not that there was confusion with the 2 Grays, but the reaction to that confusion.

          • DarthHater

            I am much, much pettier. πŸ˜›

            • Blublud

              Yeah. In fact I believe Darth is the definition of petty. πŸ˜€

            • Brains

              Darth is totally pretty, very attractive.

  • Moises Canchola

    I think out of all the FA out there i know the cubs will go after Hart which would be a good pick up if he stays healthy, but i would love to see Ellsbury in center.

  • TC

    Im not super impressed with his stuff in that video. Looks like he occasionally slows down his delivery to throw a breaking ball, and he misses a lot of his spots by margins that would be unacceptable in the MLB. Also doesnt appear he threw anything harder than 141 km/hr (87mph), or if he did i missed it.

    It is just one video, but I find myself firmly in the “meh” camp about this

    • King Jeff

      Yeah, he doesn’t top 90 very often, but he was bringing it up to 93 after he move to the bullpen. He’s been pitching professionally for 8 years already, so it’s kind of alarming watching the inconsistencies in his arm speed and delivery. If he comes at the right price, I think he could make a decent bullpen guy, but I don’ t think he’s going to be a starter in the states, or at least not a very good one.

      • TC

        yeah, I could see an effective long man/7th inning guy there. the changeup looks pretty solid, so if he could tighten up the fastball command he’d probably have at least 3 solid pitches. I wouldn’t pay much of anything for that profile though, especially considering how much abuse his arm has likely taken so far

  • Jason Powers

    New credo since mascots are not being discussed. These are the voyages of the Cubs ship Theoprise. To seek out new life forms (that throw gas) and to boldly go where no Cubs team has gone before! Cue star trek music…We need 2 Klingon sluggers, a Betazoid manager and Vulcan catcher. Beam me up ! πŸ˜‰

  • Rizzo1684

    I say pass on the pitcher but we really need to sign the announcer. If the Cubs are going to be bad next year why not sign a guy that gets very excited and speaks another language. I would prefer the excitement compared to listening to Jim Deshaies boring stories.

    • TC

      I like Deshaies, but…

      “If the Cubs are going to be bad next year why not sign a guy that gets very excited and speaks another language”


      • N8theGr8

        I clearly heard the Korean announcers say, “2 strike,” “slider,” and “change-up.” That’s good enough for me. Hire ’em.

  • BlameHendry

    Yawn… I wouldn’t sign him for any more than $3M per year…

    Also, just to give you a refreshing reminder of what an overly-hesitant “penny-pinching” FO misses out on, has anyone seen Anibal Sanchez’s numbers for 2013? 14-8 with a 2.57 ERA. Now you wanna tell me that’s not worth 5years/$80M? You wanna tell me Jackson’s 4years/$52M contract has a better value? That Jackson was money well spent?

    We’re a large market team. I’m tired of pretending to be a “broke” small market team.

    • BlameHendry

      also, that 2.57 ERA? Best in the entire AL. Thanks Theo!

      • YourResidentJag

        BlameTheo. :)

      • Cyranojoe

        Hindsight. It’s what’s for dinner!

        • Jon

          The question begs, was Sanchez dead set on going back to Detroit and just using the Cubs to drive up the price, or, if we would have upped our offer(say instead of wasting time on pieces like Fujiwaka and Ian Stewart) and put all that $$ on the Sanchez deal, would that have been enough?

    • terenceman

      Sanchez didn’t have anything to do with the Cubs. They thought they had him signed and then he went back to the Tigers and used the Cubs’ offer as leverage. He was always going to give Detroit a last chance to match:

      4:50pm: The Cubs have given their rebuilding process a major boost by agreeing to sign free agent right-hander Anibal Sanchez to a five-year contract, reports Bob Nightengale of USA Today. The deal could be worth $75MM, reports FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal, who said earlier today that the two sides were close to an agreement. The contract will become official once Sanchez passes a physical. Sanchez is represented by Mato Sports Management.

      • frank

        Right–there was no way Sanchez was coming here.

    • Kyle

      Yes, I will gladly tell you Jackson was money well spent.

      • YourResidentJag

        I won’t but that’s ok. πŸ˜‰

      • wvcubsfan

        Yes, God forbid that the FO should spend money on a pitcher that has been durable and fairly consistent over the past few years. For those of you that were expecting a #1 or 2 for that kind of contract I think you are living either in the past or a fantasy land.

      • wilbur

        The jackson deal is a bridge signing, that allowed the FO to trade away other more tradeable pitchers like garza feldman etc. That is why it was a good deal last year, in the next year or two, it will look better too in comparison to the huge dollars going to equivalent pitchers (if he stays healthy). So it will be a relative value bargain signing that provided the roster flexibility to the FO for them to make the trades that brought the prospects that etc etc.

        • Big Joe

          A season is a bridge. Maybe 2. But, a 4 year deal, is not a bridge.
          If he continues to pitch like he did last year, many will call it a “mistake”.
          Here’s to hoping the guys that made it happen will cop to it, it/when it’s determined to be the wrong move.

  • Brains

    Any signing is a good signing. I’m sure Jed Bartman will trade him away mid-season for a 38 year old bat boy from waiver line, so it doesn’t really matter.

    • Funn Dave

      “any signing is a good signing” well not if you overpay….

      • Brain

        I’m not even sure that’s true. If you overpay and get a great player who helps you to win it’s not overpaying.

  • Eternal Pessimist

    Except for a couple of those pitches on the video, everything looked like MLB batting practice…and good call on the lousy swings. Looks like the whole league needs Dr. Olt’s magic eyedrops.

  • YourResidentJag

    I just hope we don’t see him on the DL with TJ surgery. I kid of course. :)

  • NextYear

    Anybody else catch the umps strike 3 call at 48 second mark? haha

    • Canadian Cubs Fan

      I just watched it after reading your comment. THAT made me laugh.

  • Blackhawks1963

    With Tanaka a virtual lock to be going to the Yankees (they want him and a hyper aggressive posting fee doesn’t count against the luxury tax they are up against) then yes I take a look at guys like Suk Min Yoon.

  • The Logos

    I kind of don’t get it. If he does project as a middle-relief kind of guy, I don’t see how it would make any sense to go after him. Effective middle-relief guys can be found right here in the US for less.

    If there is something the front office sees and the feeling is he can be a good starter or lights-out reliever, then it might be worth it at the right price. Nothing I have read says that, though, so I don’t really see the point.

  • Die hard

    He would not make Cubs AA team and so why entertain idea?

  • ColoCubFan

    Can’t see spending big bucks on this guy. Worst year of career, probably middle relief, do the team a favor Theo and use the money on someone worthwhile with a proven track record!

  • cubzforlife

    I’m confused. I’m in Chicago and those guys on the video we’re speaking a different language. Whats up with that?

    • wilbur

      you haven’t been downtown lately have you?

  • jt

    Strop, Raley, Fujikawa, Grimm, Rosscup, Villanueva, Rondon, Russell, Parker, Cabrera, Lim, Rameriz, Bard, Rusin, Coleman, Hendricks, Rivero, Batista, Arodys and perhaps Suk.
    sign all the RP’ers!

  • Bill

    All the korean players we sign sucked just look at the track record.I would pass.

  • Jason P

    The highest his fastball was clocked at in that video was 89 mph, and it sat mostly 87-88. That could be a problem. I guess if there’s a silver lining it’s that the 89 (143 kph) was in the 9th inning, so he maintains his velocity well.

  • since52

    How dare anyone question FO brilliance after Stewart ($2M), Baker(5M), Fuji(1.5M), Camp(750K),Marmol(9M),screwed up Dempster and Garza deals, Sweum hiring and misfiring, 3?ML hitting coaches+ no legitimate leadoff hitter after two years and now PC driven search for bi-lingual mgr because ???? Hendry looks pretty good to me and I’d bet he looks pretty good to Ricketts, too.

    • Brett

      Perfect satire.

      • MichiganGoat

        This should so be published by the Onion

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