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suk-min yoonIn yesterday morning’s discussion of Korean free agent Suk-Min Yoon, a 27-year-old righty who was great before 2013 (but battled a shoulder issue in 2013), there were multiple reports that the Chicago Cubs were among five or six teams still interested in signing the pitcher. As discussed, the Cubs were in on Yoon early in the offseason, but, after Yoon left the States without a deal in December, and after reportedly agreeing to terms with Jason Hammel, it was fair to wonder if the Cubs were legitimately still involved.

Well, I’d say they are.

Two separate reports out of Texas indicate that, when Yoon threw for the Rangers yesterday in Arizona, he was also throwing for the Cubs, who had representatives in attendance. Evan Grant says that Yoon is expected to throw for other teams, and that a two to three-year deal is expected.

Although the Cubs may have legitimate interest in Yoon as a potential long-term asset – if you like a guy, and he happens to be a 27-year-old pitcher with upside who costs only money, you try and grab him regardless of your rotation situation – there are other teams that may have more pressing needs to add Yoon. The Rangers, with Derrek Holland out until the second half (and with an arguable need for another starting pitcher even before that), are just such a team. So, if the Rangers need Yoon, and view him as a potential long-term asset, then they may be willing to spend more than Yoon is worth to the Cubs, since they don’t have quite the same near-term need (it all goes back to those win curve and the value of a marginal win to different teams).

If the Cubs do add Yoon, it sure does make for an interesting situation, though. There are already seven legitimate starting options on the club – Samardzija/Jackson/Wood/Arrieta/Hammel/Villanueva/Rusin – and that’s without including, for example, a guy like Tsuyoshi Wada who has an outside chance of looking like a quality fifth starter in the Spring. Throw Yoon into the mix, and it gets tricky – and that’s not even considering the already well-oversubscribed bullpen.

Good problem to have, I suppose, and if Yoon’s price tag is in the two-years, $10 million range – the kind of contract even a currently-cost-conscious organization like the Cubs can work around if he flops – why not take a shot if your scouts are saying good things?

Although reports yesterday had Yoon close to signing – including from his agent, Scott Boras – T.R. Sullivan’s report indicates Yoon isn’t close to signing. I guess it depends on your definition of the word “close”. Pitchers and catchers start reporting next week, so I’d think both Yoon and the teams involved would like to know what’s what by the end of next week, if at all possible.

  • Jon

    I have to wonder, in this case, is Boras looking out for the best for his client, or his own personal payday?

    • Brocktoon

      There are few cases where they aren’t one and the same.

  • nate1m

    But he came out of the pen last year, right? So he, Hammel and Villanueva could be in the pen. It’ll work itself out. get value when you can.

  • Steve Ontiveros’ Mustache

    I could get behind this, even for 3-4 years if the price was right.

  • dumbledoresacubsfan

    If Yoon is signed, I have a hard time believing it doesn’t precede a Samardzija trade. I bet the rotation looks like the below throughout the season (at least on paper). It all, of course, depends on the performances of those on the MLB and AAA rosters.

    Starting Five pre-deadline:
    Samardzija
    Wood
    Jackson
    Hammel
    Arrieta

    Starting Five post-deadline (if Yoon is signed and Hammel performs):
    Wood
    Jackson
    Arrieta
    Yoon
    Villanueva/Rusin

    • nate1m

      Gotta hope Hendricks figures in somewhere

      • dumbledoresacubsfan

        Ah! I knew I was forgetting someone. With Hendricks in play (and Yoon, if signed), I have to assume Yoon pitches from the pen unless Hammel just isn’t putting it together in the rotation.

        But after the deadline, if Samardzija and Hammel are traded, I have to figure Hendricks replaces the Villanueva/Rusin conundrum (if, of course, Hendricks is ready).

  • http://bleachernation.com woody

    Well here we go again with a nod and a wink! In on another guy but not really. If the Rangers have the need then I hardly see the Cubs getting in a bidding war with them. In many respects I’m happy that we didn’t get Tanaka, but all of that “we’re all in”, “Cubs won’t be out bid”, crap that we were being fed by quote, unquote insiders is wearing me out. Then to find that we made a run of the mill bid that wasn’t ever going to secure his services. With the ugliness of the rooftops, and the AAAA lineup we are fielding it could very well over shadow the brightness of the the promise that waits in our farm system. If Ricketts doesn’t get a deal done soon with these people it may well be the big story of the 2014 season.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      Let’s be quite clear about something: whatever your belief about the Cubs’ efforts on Tanaka (or Darvish, or Cespedes), Yoon is not one of those guys. Even if you wanted to make a conspiracy out of this one, you’ll find no traction, because Yoon will be discussed on nerdy sites like this one, and just about nowhere else.

    • Jon

      Yeah, Yoon isn’t even as good as Ryu, so if there is anything to be mad about, its the Cubs passiveness last year and missing on him.

      • aaronb

        Cubs certainly finished 2nd on Ryu last year.

        • aaronb
          • TWC

            “The Cubs are believed to have finished second on the bidding for Ryu in the off-season.”

            Said by some dude named Neil.

            Yeah, that’s a solid frackin’ source.

        • Jon

          It’s just really fucking aggravating that given our circumstances, we couldn’t get one of Yu, Ryu or Tanaka in IFA. 25-26 year old arms in their prime. They fit the plan to “T”. At some point you have to stop making excuses for this.

          • TWC

            Excuses like “they chose to sign with someone else”?

            • Jon

              No excuses like “The Cubs didn’t offer enough $$$$”

              • Eternal Pessimist

                Yes…they should offer infinity…that ought to do it!

          • BT

            Ryu was the only reasonable one, and I just want to remind the non-Monday QB’s that his own agent described him as a #3 starter when he was shopping him. And that was Scott Boras. He was not seen as a world saver at the time.

            • Jon

              6/61 million(including the posting fee) is a bargain for a 26 year old starter even if his upside is only a #3.

              • BT

                Right. But 6/61 isn’t a bargain for an unknown pitcher coming over from Korea who already had Tommy John surgery, and was coming off a series of injuries. Furthermore, if all Boras could work up was enough enthusiasm to call him a #3 starter, than more than likely he was a 4 or a 5, or even a middle reliever, because if he was truly a #3, Boras would be touting him as a 1 or a 2. Because that is how agents work.

          • http://BN Sacko

            now that is well said..I mean very well said..Holy..
            If the money is there for these kind of players, then sign these kind of players including, quit this crap with Shark and get it done.
            I don’t think alot of these players want to be in Wrigley, which poses another problem. But to be more aggressive, and sign Somebody.. will look better to get more of these players..

    • BT

      define “run of the mill”.

    • waittilthisyear

      there is no need to type out “quote, unquote insiders.” when you have the benefit of the written word, you can just write (type) “insiders.” that’s my contribution, and it is not a very good one

      • http://bleachernation.com woody

        By writing “quote, unquote insiders” I was casting doubt about how inside they really are. With the Tanka event it seems like Blackhawks here at BN called it and was scourged by the majority of posters here.

        • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

          Blackhawks getting the business had nothing to do with the substance of his prediction or his insider status (if he even claimed to have any).

        • Patrick W.

          There is exactly 0% chance Blackhawks was scourged by the majority of posters here because of what he as predicting.

          • DarthHater

            There is a 0% chance that woody is not Blackhawks. ;-)

        • Jim

          He didn’t call anything, he took the negative position that the Cubs wouldn’t sign him because the Yankees always get who they want, which isn’t exactly true.

  • MightyBear

    I don’ think the Cubs will sign Yoon.

  • V23

    I haven’t seen an article with what Yoon could potentially cost? Are we talking a $5Mil/year flier or much larger?

    • aaronb

      I’d not want to go much over that. He’s a bullpen guy at this point.

  • Blackhawks1963

    Never confuse quantity with quality. Unfortunately I don’t see anything about Yoon that suggests he is more than a marginal back of rotation candidate. We already have ample supply of such commodity.

    • Ivy Eater

      Let us also not confuse this; you are Drew Barrymore in 50 First Dates.

      • Jon

        I literally just spit coffee on my monitor. Thanks!

  • Diehardthefirst

    Bad shoulder ? Fits in- sign him – hey Yosh! What’s next number? 82?

  • mjhurdle

    Bleacher Nation just got another shout out from ESPN 1000 (Carmen and Jurko).
    Seems to be a theme now, whenever they talk about the Cubs they are dropping knowledge from BN.

    • Jon

      Does anyone actually listen to Carmen and Jurko?

      • mjhurdle

        I thought it was obvious, but i must have listened if I heard the shout-out.
        So the answer to your question would be ‘Yes’.

        You are welcome for the free education in deductive reasoning.

  • CubsFaninMS

    Obviously we have limited data on Suk Min-Yoon, but from what we’ve read… what makes him any better than Chris Rusin? Rusin is super cheap and will likely outperform or perform to the same standards as Yoon. In the bullpen, that’s the one area of our team I can comfortable say that we have “depth”. Yoon is not a lefty so I dont see him being a fit there either. Unless the front office has a strong impression that (1) they plan to send away two of our starters at the trade deadline and (2) no one will be there to replace them (i.e. Cabrera, Rusin, Hendricks?), then I see no reason to sign this guy.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      I don’t want to be too short about it, but the simple answer is: because he might be a better big league pitcher than Rusin.

      • http://bleachernation.com woody

        I would be inclined to think that if they sign Yoon it will be because they have every intention of moving Shark and Hammels before the trade deadline.

  • CubsFaninMS

    Brett: That’s where the cliff drops off with us fans. We’re just not going to know what type of talent Suk Min-Yoon is as compared to our scouts.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      For sure – especially on a guy like Yoon, since he hasn’t pitched in the States and he’s coming off an injury.

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