Blog Entry

Orioles scouts banned in Korea after signing

Posted on: February 9, 2012 1:09 pm
Edited on: February 9, 2012 1:24 pm
The Orioles usually upset their own fans by not being aggressive enough, or not spending money.

Now they've found their way into something of an international incident with a very aggressive signing.

According to Korea's Yonhap News Agency, the Korean Baseball Association announced Thursday that it will ban Orioles scouts from attending games, after the team signed 17-year-old pitcher Kim Seong-min for a reported $550,000. Meanwhile, Major League Baseball is looking into the signing, after a request from the Korean Baseball Organization, which runs professional baseball in that country.

The KBA objected to the signing, because Kim was not yet in his final year of high school. The association also said that any other teams signing players that young would also be banned from scouting in the country.

The KBO was upset enough that secretary general Yang Hae-Young referred to "hegemonic rookie signings" in an interview with Yonhap.

The Kim signing has stirred emotions in Korea, where some people feel that even if the Orioles didn't break any rules -- it appears that they didn't -- they may have broken with accepted procedure and/or offended some sensibilities.

Unlike in Japan, where most players have come to American baseball through the Japanese professional system, quite a few Koreans have signed with major-league teams direct from the amateur ranks. Neither Hee-Seop Choi and Byung-Hyun Kim, for example, played professional baseball in Korea before coming to MLB, although both played in Korea after their major-league careers ended.

Choi and Byung-Hyun Kim, though, were both older than the pitcher the Orioles signed. According to reports from Korea, Kim Seong-Min is just the second player signed by an MLB at such a young age (the first was a player the Braves signed in 1997).

The influx of players from Asia has always been complicated, because of concerns in the home countries about the effect on their local leagues. The issue is whether taking the top players to major-league organizations would harm the leagues and development systems left behind, and whether fans in those countries would simply watch major-league games on television rather than support the local game.

It's no surprise that the Orioles are in the middle of it, because new Orioles general manager Dan Duquette hired longtime scout Ray Poitevint, who is known for his aggressive style in signing Asian players.

The Orioles expect Kim Seong-Min to report to their minor-league camp this spring in Florida.


Since: May 10, 2007
Posted on: February 9, 2012 2:13 pm

Orioles scouts banned in Korea after signing

$550,000 = 5.5 million hours at the shoe factory.

Since: Apr 22, 2011
Posted on: February 9, 2012 2:12 pm

Orioles scouts banned in Korea after signing

OMG are u serious adn going to say that the O's are doing "SOMETHING" you must not know baseball or just some casual fan if you call that moves these guys wont last more than 1 or 2 yrs in the league they draft horribe and sign washed up junk...

Since: Jan 12, 2007
Posted on: February 9, 2012 2:09 pm

Orioles scouts banned in Korea after signing

"LMFAO!!!! The Orioles are screwed if they get banned from there."

No news there Chief! The O's have been getting corned regularly for a number of years, domestically, to the point that our new seats have been adjusted to swivel instead of facing one way. It gives us something else better to do than watch Kevin Gregg send us all into cardiac arrest or epileptic fits while watching him pitch himself and the team into jams.

Hopefully, this year, they'll save Gregg from himself, keep him fresh and only allow him to pitch extra inning games that last well into the 17th inning.

Since: Oct 11, 2006
Posted on: February 9, 2012 1:48 pm

Orioles scouts banned in Korea after signing

At least this new Front Office is doing SOMETHING to try to make this team more competitive.

Since: Jul 28, 2011
Posted on: February 9, 2012 1:39 pm
This comment has been removed.

Post Deleted by Administrator

Since: Jul 29, 2009
Posted on: February 9, 2012 1:30 pm

Orioles scouts banned in Korea after signing

Don't sweat it Oriole Nation. Just go north a few miles and sign some of those great North Korean ballplayers. I understand Kim-Jung-Ill Jr. is quite the baseball fan and we all know he hates the Yanks already and would gladly like to defeat the "evil empire".

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