The Baltimore Orioles have signed Korean outfielder Hyun-Soo Kim.
Say what you will about the Baltimore Orioles’ tactics across the board, but they’re working on trying to improve the team however they can. The Birds have signed Korean outfielder Hyun-Soo Kim to a two-year contract, reportedly worth $7 million. The deal is pending a physical, which is suppposed to take place either today or tomorrow.
Courtesy of David Manning-USA TODAY Sports
Kim is a left-handed corner outfielder, who at 27 has hit .318 over ten years in the Korean league. Last season he hit .326 with 28 home runs and only struck out 63 times. The Orioles have been active in the Asian market the past few years, although with mixed results. Of course Wei-Yin Chen was a hit, however then you also have situations like that of Suk-min Yoon – who never played a game for the Orioles due to injury.
This could be the long-awaited replacement for Nick Markakis that the Orioles have been looking for. It’s unclear whether Kim will play in right or left field, but he’s a career outfielder that is expected to get a starting job. There’s no reason to assume he won’t stay healthy, however assuming he does he should make a big impact on the team.
That Balls Outta Here
There’s no reason to assume that this move would in any way financially impair the Orioles from signing Chris Davis if they still wanted to do so. Kim’s signing isn’t breaking the bank. However consider this; if Kim smacks 20-25 home runs in 2016, he’ll have produced almost half of what Davis did last year. I use that number because you might have to curb your predictions just a bit to give him time to adjust to the majors and America. But you get the point.
And that’s just home run total; throw in RBI and so forth, and the O’s might have something offensively in this guy. And with strikeout totals being so low, there’s no reason to believe that he won’t produce runs across the board. Now having said that, if you throw in the fact that the Orioles traded for Mark Trumbo earlier this off season, and maybe you have home run and RBI totals similar to what Davis was producing.
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This might all come off as living on a prayer. But keep in mind that’s part of how sports works. What if you sign Davis to a mega-contract and his production suddenly slows? Point being, anything can happen. The Orioles have addressed a major need coming out of 2015 with this move, and it really should streamline the lineup across the board.
And also keep in mind that the Orioles aren’t through with the off season yet. I’ve always said that January is the best part of the hot stove season. So stay tuned, but my hope is that Orioles fans see this move as good news.