The Baltimore Orioles are now hearing that Hyun-Soo Kim is leaning towards enforcing the no-minors policy in his contract.
The Baltimore Orioles might now have a bit of a problem with regard to Hyun-Soo Kim. Despite earlier reports to the contrary, this tweet by FOX’s Ken Rosenthal seems to indicate that Kim is not open to going to the minor leagues. Kim has a clause in his $7 million contract that disallows the O’s to send him to the minors – absent his consent.
Earlier this week it appeared that he was open to the idea of going to the minors so as to stay in the United States, however now presumably his agent has stepped in. Let’s be clear, Kim has every right to say no. He
really has all of the leverage on his side given the fact that the alternative is that the Orioles cut him or put him on the roster. Either way, they’re on the hook for his salary.
It’s unclear what the Orioles will do if the sides remain at an impasse. However this illustrates why it’s a bad idea for teams to offer clauses such as these in their contracts. I’ve written a lot about my aversion to opt-out clauses, however something like this is along the same lines in my view.
That Balls Outta Here
It sounds simple enough; if you’re confident enough about the player, why should you have a problem telling him that you won’t send him down? But some of these players from the Asian Leagues are unpredictable. And I don’t say that in a bad way. I get the fact that they’re needing to assimilate in our culture as well as in the major leagues. So we shouldn’t be surprised when they struggle in a sense. But the Orioles now find themselves in a pickle.
And not just in one manner, incidentally. If they decide to relent and put Kim on the roster, they’ll do so knowing that they’re carrying a guy that knows he wasn’t wanted off the bat. Furthermore, from the Orioles’ perspective Kim is also holding them up in a sense by not rendering a decision. In effect, he’s leaving the roster in limbo – which is within his right, I might add.
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So hopefully teams eventually learn that giving leverage like this to a player is a bad idea. Even if Kim was going to enforce the clause, at the very least he needs to let them know. At least they would then have the option of deciding what they want to do as soon as possible.
If Kim decides he won’t waive the clause, the Birds would have the option of releasing him. They would also then be on the hook for $7 million. That’s why this is a tough decision. For what it’s worth, that would also make him a free agent – meaning that anyone could pick him up.