After getting Jason Hammel, the Chicago Cubs became an unlikely landing spot for Korean righty Suk-Min Yoon, although they did scout a bullpen session of Yoon’s as recently as last week. The most recent rumors, however, had Yoon down to just a handful of American League teams, and it seemed like the Cubs were out on the 27-year-old.
So where might Yoon land? Well, if a visual tweet is to be believed, Yoon could be signing with the Orioles:
— Yoon_sm-(윤석민) (@bbergong) February 12, 2014
That account does appear to be Yoon’s, though it is not verified. Further, just because he is wearing an Orioles hat doesn’t necessarily mean he’s signing with the Orioles. But we know the Orioles have been interested, and we know it’s approaching the time when Yoon will be making a decision. Assuming he passes the rigorous Oriole physical, I think it’s a pretty safe guess at this point that Yoon is headed to the O’s.
That would give the Orioles their long-awaited starting pitcher for the offseason, and would probably take them solidly out of any talks for Jeff Samardzija (again, if the Cubs active shop Samardzija before Opening Day). With Bronson Arroyo going to the Diamondbacks, you can imagine a scenario where the Blue Jays and Mariners each get at least one of A.J. Burnett, Ubaldo Jimenez, or Ervin Santana, taking them out of the picture for now, too.
(h/t BN’er Kevin for pointing out the tweet)
UPDATE: In the overnight hours, Ken Rosenthal says Yoon may just have been making a joke …
Source says Yoon and #Orioles are not in agreement. Photo he tweeted might have been a joke between friends. O’s one of five clubs in mix.
— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) February 12, 2014
That may very well be true. It may also be true that the source is Yoon’s agent (Scott Boras), who doesn’t want this leaking out before Yoon takes his physical (since that isn’t a sure thing with the Orioles, and with Yoon’s arm issue last year). If word spreads that there’s a deal, and then the O’s back out after the physical, it looks bad for Yoon. Or, maybe Yoon has already decided on the O’s, but his agent hasn’t told them that yet, and he’s still trying to squeeze out a little more value. Or, as Rosenthal said, maybe it was just a joke.