New reports are swirling that Korean pitcher Suk-min Yoon will sign very soon. The Red Sox and Twins seem to be the front-runners for Yoon. Reports state that the Yankees are not in the bidding for the Korean pitcher who is an international free agent and does not require a posting fee.
The Yankees need for pitching depth begs the question, why are they not involved? MLBTR’s Tim Dierkes’ best guess is that Yoon will sign for 2-years, and around $10 million dollars. That does not seem like a lot of money in Yankee terms. While Yoon, 26, is not as highly regarded as his fellow countryman Hyun-jin Ryu, who had an excellent rookie season with the Dodgers last season, his numbers in Korea the last four seasons have been very good.
Perhaps, his size is a deterrent (6’0″, 180 lbs). He does however, have a mid-90s fastball and has averaged over 8.5 strikeouts per 9 innings with just over 2.5 walks per 9. In 16 IP during the 2009 World Baseball Classic, Yoon pitched to a 2-0 record, with a 1.13 ERA and 13 strikeouts. There is no way to tell how he will translate to the Major Leagues, but if the cost is $10 million dollars, it seems like it’s worth the risk, even if it’s just to keep him away from the Red Sox. Boston seems to have plenty of depth behind Jon Lester and Clay Buchholtz, and the Yankees can ill-afford to lose a quality arm to their arch rivals. With David Price anchoring a plethora of quality arms in Tampa, it seems the Bombers will open the season with the third best starting rotation in the American League East. It’s time for Cashman and the brass to look around for some bargains to add some depth beyond the top four starters.
Unless the Yanks were really unimpressed while scouting the 26-year-old, money seems to be the only thing keeping them away. So does that mean the Yankees are really done spending money this offseason? I guess we will find out soon enough. Lets just hope Suk-Min Yoon doesn’t make a run at American League Rookie Of The Year in the meantime.