New Orioles general manager Dan Duquette is particularly well connected in the international market, so it's no surprise that the Orioles could now make some international baseball history.
The O's are working on signing Chong Tae-Hyon, a 33-year-old relief pitcher who could become the first player to go directly from the Korean league to the majors. Reports out of Korea indicated Monday that the deal was close to being done, and that Chong could sign a two-year deal.
Chong pitched for Korea in the 2000 Olympics, and also in the 2006 and 2009 World Baseball Classic. He became a free agent last week, calling off negotiations with his former team, the SK Wyverns.
"I've long wanted to pitch in the majors, and I want to find out if I can compete there," Chong told the Yonhap News Agency.
Chong is described by scouts as an "extreme sidearmer."
Shin-Soo Choo of the Indians was the only Korean player in the major leagues in 2011. Choo didn't play in the Korean league, instead signing with the Mariners as a 18-year-old amateur free agent in 2000.