Scott Boras planning to talk to Yankees about Suk-Min Yoon this week

Fan Confidence Poll: October 21st, 2013
What Went Right: Alfonso Soriano
Yoon during the 2009 World Baseball Classic. (Presswire)
Yoon during the 2009 World Baseball Classic. (Presswire)

The Yankees are reportedly “going to be serious players” for Japanese-born right-hander Masahiro Tanaka this offseason, but he might not be the only Asian pitcher on their radar. Jee-Ho Yoo reports New York has interest in South Korean righty Suk-Min Yoon, who will be a true free agent this winter. Scott Boras told George King he plans to discuss the right-hander/his client with Brian Cashman this coming week.

Yoon, 27, is currently going through the status check process required to be eligible to sign with a Major League club. His team, the Kia Tigers of the Korea Baseball Organization, declined his requests to be made available to big league teams via the posting process after both the 2011 and 2012 seasons. The Twins are among the other clubs that are said to have interest in the righty.

In 87.2 innings spread across 30 appearances this year, Yoon had a 4.00 ERA with 76 strikeouts (7.8 K/9 and 20.4 K%) and 28 walks (2.87 BB/9 and 7.5 BB%). He has had on and off shoulder problems over the years, including an issue that limited him to relief work this season. Yoon was named the league MVP in 2011 (2.45 ERA in 172.1 innings) and he has a ton of international experience, both in the Olympics and World Baseball Classic.

“He’s a 91-92 guy. He’s a good pitcher … not an overpowering arm,” said Boras to King. Baseball America and Jeff Passan says he backs up the low-90s fastball with a hard slider and “what one scout deemed an above-average changeup.” Yoon is listed at 6-foot-0 and 187 lbs., and he’s been the second best pitcher in South Korea behind current Dodgers lefty Hyun-Jin Ryu the last half-decade or so. There’s plenty of video on YouTube.

Everything I know about Yoon is in this post, so I don’t know if he’s worth a Wei-Yin Chen contract (three years, $11.1M) or a Ryu contract (six years, $36M). The history of shoulder problems scares me and given how much higher the level of competition is in MLB compared to KBO, I wonder if he’s a long-term reliever over here. There’s nothing wrong with that, relievers are people too, but you know Boras is going to be pushing him as a starter and asking for big bucks.

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Fan Confidence Poll: October 21st, 2013
What Went Right: Alfonso Soriano
  • pat

    The Igawa to Tanaka’s Matsuzaka.

  • Robinson Tilapia

    I thought the Yankees had to prove themselves even more now, to Boras. I guess that doesn’t apply to his own foreign clients with a history of shoulder problems.

    Scott Boras can so go fuck himself with something, anything, wrapped in barbed wire.

    Do your due diligence on the guy. Seems high-risk to me from this little bit I just read.

    • Pee Wee Herman Ruth

      I was thinking the same…

    • I’m One

      Tell us how you really feel ….

    • tmoney

      Probably why he came out with the Yankees need to prove themselves to free agents comment. Pass on this guy. Shoulder issues and doesn’t appear to be anything more than a back of the rotation starter. We have enough of those.

    • SDB

      “Scott Boras can so go fuck himself with something, anything, wrapped in barbed wire.”

      This, this, this. So this.

  • HateMclouth (formerly I’mVernon)

    Gut reaction says pass. Focus on Tanaka.

  • @GGooglyBoogly

    Pass

  • Joe

    4.00 ERA in Korea + Boras = Pass

    • Mike B.

      Amen!

    • Ghost of Joe Dugan

      Brandon Knight, as in former Yankee with a career ERA over 10 Brandon Knight, led the KBO in ERA last year at 2.20 at 37 years old. Knight’s career ERA in AAA was 4.71 in almost 800 IP.

      PASS!

      • Robinson Tilapia

        Well, Hideki Matsui wasn’t Karl “Tuffy” Rhodes in US either.

        That’s not to be taken as an endorsement of Yoon whatsoever. Even if he’s a middle reliever, there are easier ways to find a middle reliever. Go real cheap or go somewhere else.

      • hmm

        Ryu put up 3.00 ERA after 2.80 career in KBO. with your logic, he should not come any close to accomplish what he did with Dodgers this year

  • Mark L.

    Sign him anyway and hope that he’ll be 70% of what Ryu can do.

    …also, do one of these again

    http://cdn0.sbnation.com/impor....._large.jpg

    • http://www.twitter.com/_swarlesbarkley Mark Teixiera – Ghostbuster (formerly Drew)

      That is by far my favorite SI cover of all time. I remember picking that up as a teenager. I loved Jeff Weaver, even though he was the fucking worst.

  • Ramondo A Stallings

    Borassss is the biggest assss!!! NEXT!!!

  • Frank

    If I’m taking a chance on a pitcher, I’d rather take a flyer on Josh Johnson.

    • Eselquetodolosabe

      I like the Josh Johnson idea. If signed for reasonable years (3 years), and money, I see low risk/high reward. As far as this Korean pitcher, sounds like nothing but red flags. Bad shoulder, so-so season in Korean league and moved to bullpen to possibly save his health. Too risky if you ask me. But hey, you never know. I’d probably give Adam Warren a shot at 5th spot. I thought he came unto his own in the latter half of the season.

      • mitch

        Not against taking a shot with Johnson, but no way in hell i’d give him more than 1 year

        • Need Pitching & Hitting

          this

          • Robinson Tilapia

            +1

  • http://bigredsportsnetwork.org Matthew Provenzano

    I mean, I don’t know if this guy is worth it. If you watch some tape on him, it’s clear that he’s not only not overpowering, but that a lot of his 91-92 mph fastballs are overwhelming Korean hitters. It’s not as if he’s getting them with finesse altogether.

    Like here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B1faX3mNW64

    He definitely has some movement that can spot the corners, but a lot of those strikeouts are just not strikeouts in MLB. Some of them, arguably, could be hit very hard here. You can’t place a 91 mph fastball right down the middle and expect to fool anyone. This guy could be good as a back-end starter for the Yankees, but nothing more I don’t think.

  • Hassey

    Jeter will never agree to let the Yankee lockerroom smell like kimchi

    • Pee Wee Herman Ruth

      Dummy

  • Pee Wee Herman Ruth

    Dummy

    • Pee Wee Herman Ruth

      Reply fail

      • Hassey

        come back to me when you know how to work that thing

        • Pee Wee Herman Ruth

          Cute…but your comment above was still stupid at best, and at worst, racist.

          • Hassey

            Oh stop it already…racist…just because he eats kimchi and it smells doesnt mean I’m denigrating one of the oldest wiset civilizations in the world. The PC pansification of the universe continues.

            • Pee Wee Herman Ruth

              Maybe he abhors kimchi…

              • Hassey

                I would if I was him
                It smells

                • Robinson Tilapia

                  I fucking love kimchi.

                  • Hassey

                    It’s the best contraceptive known to man

                    • Robinson Tilapia

                      There was a brief period last decade in which cod sperm was apparently a delicacy in Japanese restaurants. I think that wins the crown.

                  • cheddar

                    Word. Over a steaming bowl of rice, it’s like a circus in my mouth.

                  • Kamala

                    I never felt as though he was acting in my best interests.

                    • The Doctor of Style, Slick

                      YOU ARE A MAN!!!!!

                    • Robinson Tilapia

                      This wins the internet for the night.

                    • The Doctor of Style, Slick

                      (and, probably, Pat D)

            • Mike B.

              Great point, Hassey.

  • Jonathan

    Screw this. I say re-sign Robbie and Kuroda/Granderson if reasonable. Then bring in Tanaka/McCann/Beltran and one of Drew or Peralta to help out whatever position needs it the most on the left side of the infield. Finish off with a reliever or two depending on their prices and you’ve got:

    C McCann
    1B Tex
    2B Cano
    3B ARod or Peralta/Drew depending on suspension
    SS Jeter/Peralta/Drew and maybe Ryan
    LF Granderson
    CF Gardner
    RF Beltran
    DH Soriano
    (Look at that balance in the lineup: 4 lefties/3 righties/2 switch)

    SP Sabathia
    SP Kuroda
    SP Tanaka
    SP Nova
    SP Phelps/Nuno/Warren/Pineda/1 year incentive laden deal or MiLB deal like Kazmir etc

    Maybe Logan takes a decent deal and we only need to spend on 1 good reliever. I think that’s about as good as we could hope for this offseason without major trades like Price/Stanton/Headley etc. The OF wouldn’t be jammed for the future since Beltran would likely take 2 years and Grandy comes back if he takes the QO and Sori is in his last year and we could keep the veterans rested and cover for an ARod suspension and/or Jeter being unable to play the field. I realize this is a pipe dream with $189MM but that’s a contender. McCann moves off C in time for Tex to leave and the prospects coming up. Maybe Cervelli gets ABs vs LHP while Romine/Murphy split C/DH and get plenty of AAA experience. Peralta might be available on a Melky PED deal but we won’t touch him even though we need at least 1 SS or 3B and some righty pop. Love the thought of Tanaka and 1 more year of Kuroda as well as all that depth. If Kuroda comes back we need a decent spot starter to keep him fresh late. Maybe CC figures it out and is a mid 3 ERA guy and one of Pineda/Banuelos contributes within 2 years. This plan would seem to fit with the future and the present as quality stopgaps for Jagielo at 3B, Sanchez at C and the top OF prospects. Perhaps you go after Headley and play him in RF for part of the year if ARod isn’t suspended. He’ll need days off, DH days and a trip or 2 to the DL if he isn’t suspended a game. It’s not perfect but I want nada to do with Yoon unless he profiles as a late reliever for relatively cheap. Thoughts? That’s an upgrade at every offensive position that isn’t a re-sign and the only downgrade is Rivera/Pettitte which isn’t fixable unless they get the itch…… ; )

    • Hassey

      no way the Yankees go with four starting pitchers whose last name ends in A

      • D$1184

        5, if Pineda wins that last spot.

      • Jonathan

        Haha I didn’t even notice that

    • jjyank

      I’m generally on board with this strategy. I’ll never be in the fire sale/complete rebuild crowd. I’d like McCann and Tanaka, for sure. Though I’d pass on Beltran if we get Granderson back for a reasonable price.

      • Jonathan

        Yeah, I love me some Grandy but Beltran is clutch and a switch hitter that hits for average and will likely see a power spike in YS3. Plus, the guy WANTS to be a Yankee. Are you just sayin you’d leave DH open for a rotation or do you have another choice? McCann and an above-average SP are MUSTS. McCann is the first C of his quality to hit FA since Pudge in 04 or Piazza in 1999. A guy who fits in perfectly with the park and our needs. Stewart isn’t going to cut it. We have to be strong up the middle again. The SP is obvious as we dunno what CC will bring us (although I have faith if he’s healthy), and we dunno if Kuroda is coming back, if he’ll hold up if he does, if Nova can keep it together for a full year, and Phelps/Pineda/Banuelos/warren/Nuno all could be average or better but are total question marks based on health and lack of experience. You’d really turn down Beltran at 2-$24MMish?

    • Need Pitching & Hitting

      Their first draft pick might not be until the 4th round in that scenario, fwiw.

      • Jonathan

        I see McCann as the only lock for a QO. Beltran is a maybe. Peralta I don’t see it as they seem to want to move on and we’ll see about Drew. Either way it’d be only 1 of those two. I highly doubt Beltran/Drew/Peralta all get QOs. I’d guess 1 gets it.

  • Baked McBride

    I don;t typically care who wins the WS if the Yankees aren’t in it, even if it’s Boston. But for some reason, this is the year that I’m praying the Sox lose. Let’s hope the back end of the Cards’ rotation doesn’t spit the bit

    • Robinson Tilapia

      Screen name of the year.

  • jjyank

    “There’s nothing wrong with that, relievers are people too”

    I chuckled.

    Seriously though, this gets a resounding “meh” from me. I’m assuming the KBO features lesser competition than Japan, but I don’t really know that for sure, or by how much. Regardless, His numbers don’t jump out at me and scream “productive starter in the AL East”. I’d much rather have Tanaka, but I suppose they might as well do their due diligence, scout him, and try to get both if the contract doesn’t represent too much risk.

  • ropeadope

    Way too risky. I mean, the word Suk is right in his name.

    • Robinson Tilapia

      The Post would have a field day.

      • ropeadope

        How do you spell relief?

        S-U-K

  • Dan

    They should seriously consider rolling the dice with him if they sign Tanaka or not. Going into the offseason they have 3 empty SP slots, and a huge hole in their bullpen. He could be useful in making up the difference (as long as the price is right).

    I’d throw him into the same camp as Lincecum (questionable SPs with decent upside who will at least be serviceable relievers), who I definitely think the Yanks should go after on a 1 year deal if the $$ works out.

  • Baked McBride

    If the Sox win, I guess that means we’ll be playing at Boston for their 2014 home opener?

    • http://twitter.com/#!/Clay_Bellinger Clay Bellinger

      Nope. The Astros in Houston regardless.

  • D$1184

    Yeah, I think I put a ceiling of about $2.5 million/year on this guy. Seeing as how Scott Boras usually asks for about $8 for a 50 cent bag of peanuts, I’m thinking the conversation will be very, very brief. Like “not even one cup of coffee” brief.

  • SeventhAce

    I wouldn’t give him a Chen Wei Yin contract, cause I would’ve given that to Chen Wei Yin. Pass.

  • RetroRob

    I think this is more a case of the Yankees humouring Boras. He’s still a major player and they have to deal with him on other free agents now and in the future, so they will take a meeting with him. Can’t see them being too interested in the pitcher at the prices Boras will no doubt try and seek.

  • qwerty

    I have trouble believing this guy is an upgrade over either Vidal Nuno or David Phelps.

  • CashmanNinja

    This guy couldn’t even put up good numbers in Korea coming out of the ‘pen. He’d get hammered here. I’ll take the risk on Tanaka, but not Yoon. Tanaka has SO much more upside it’s scary.

  • SDB

    2013 put the Suk right into the Yankees. Boras doesn’t need to do it.

  • cranky

    If the Yanks decide to really load up on middling right-handed middle relief/spot starter guys, they probably can’t go wrong with this kid.
    But there’s no good reason for the Yanks to load up on middling right-handed middle relief/spot starter guys.

    • CashmanNinja

      I’m sure he could eat innings, but we could get the same or better out of someone like Phelps at a MUCH cheaper price. This guy is going to want a decent amount of money, but he’s one of those players who is going to get paid more because of his name rather than what he actually produces. He’ll probably manage $4 mil-$5 mil a year. I’d rather save the $$ and roll the dice with Phelps. It seems rather pointless to waste money on this guy. Plus if you add in the past shoulder problems…yeah, that’s a red flag for me. An elbow is one thing, but a shoulder can’t be fixed with players coming back as good or better. Look at how Wang turned out.

  • Argenys

    Instead of this guy why not Odrisamer Despaigne who is also a right handed free agent. He is a Cuban defector coming off of his best season with a 2.65 ERA. I haven’t looked up his peripherals but considering that they’re even looking at Yoon to perhaps complement Tanaka, I would rather take the shot with the younger arm in Despaigne, without the injury history(though there might be one but I haven’t come across anything that’s states that).

  • hmm

    I know this comment won’t get a lot of love but I’ve been following KBO for years and definitely have been following him long enough to get a sense on what he can do… and what his weaknesses are. I think a lot of you guys are dismissing him on his subpar 2013 performance but he was fighting injuries this past season AND it was probably the worst year he had after his rookie season. Besides those two years, he’s been pretty good – and league Cy Young-worthy at times.

    Yoon won the league MVP AND Cy in 2011, which was just two years ago. His 2011 is on par with Ryu’s finest years in Korea and I believe that is what Yoon is capable of doing based on his stuff and control/command. I watched multiple games of Yoon and he can bring the fastball up to 95 and hit corners with multiple pitches while changing speed (circle change, slow curve, hard slider in late 80’s). That’s pretty much what the KBO fans saw of him in 2011 and yes, there were speculations that he’d be posted to ML teams back then and if he was, we would be discussing about him much differently than now.

    He’s a good package when he’s healthy but… if there’s a knock on him, it’s his health. I do have doubts on him being a capable ML starter and that’d be why. He can eat innings when healthy but as far as avoiding injuries, he’s not as good as Ryu on that department and 2013 was DEFINITELY the case of him underperforming while battling injuries. Yankeesource on twitter says that he sees him as a short reliever in ML and I dont think it’s inconcievable.

    I guess the point I want to make is that, he’s NOT Igawa when it comes to stuff and control. Yoon can locate and bring his velo up. Igawa got away in Japan with not-so-great-velo with his pitching repertoire style that’s not too familiar with Japanese hitters but ML hitters blew him away. Yoon made a lot of ML-caliber hitters look silly in international competitions and I feel like he can come close to what Ryu did IF he’s healthy. It bugs me somewhat that a lot of you are dismissing him based on one post.

    Reading reports and articles on KBO for last several years, I’m not surprised to see Yankees possibly pursuing Yoon. Like, I know it’s hard to see how he could be a top-of-the-league caliber based in 4.00 ERA in 80-something IP’s but his track record and international competition record in last few years do say that he is one of the top-3 exports KBO can offer to MLB. Yankees do have some presence in scouting in Korean baseball and Yoon is definitely one of the players that bring ML scouts to the parks. We’ll see how this ends up but I wouldn’t be surprised if Yoon lands himself in an ML team (for whatever role) this offseason despite a subpar 2013.

    also, last note: his injury this past season is attributed to that he overprepared himself for the WBC earlier this year and experienced arm fatigue for a chunk of the season. If he is able to get his health together and doesn’t mentally break down in ML, I think he could be very serviceable.

    Also, guess who was also injury-prone before making a jump to ML? Wei-Yin Chen. Yoon might not be as lucky as Chen but you never know

    • Sayann

      Well said, if the article was as complete as your comment, people would certainly have thought twice before flaming :)

      Now of course it seems that the guy (Boras) that speaks for him isnt liked and has a heavy past.. (i don’t know about it/him)
      So carefull is the word ^^ i guess

      • hmm

        RAB pls hire me as an Asian baseball guy. i can do a good job haha