The Orioles today announced that they have signed right-hander Suk-min Yoon (pronounced syuck-min you-n) to a three-year contract. Yoon would become the first Korean-born player in club history, and the 16th in major league history, when he makes his big league debut.
Yoon, 27, has gone 73-59 with a 3.19 ERA (1129.0IP, 400ER) in nine seasons with the KIA Tigers of the Korean Baseball Organization after being selected in the 2nd round of the 2005 draft out of high school. A three-time KBO All-Star (2008, ‘09 and ‘11), Yoon was named the KBO MVP while also winning the Pitching Triple Crown in 2011 (17 wins, 2.45 ERA and 178 strikeouts in 27 games).
He has finished in the top-10 in KBO in several categories multiple times in his career: ERA (three times; led KBO in 2008 and ‘11), strikeouts (four times; KBO leader in 2011), wins (twice; KBO leader in 2011), saves (twice), innings pitched (three times), complete games (five times; KBO leader in 2011) and shutouts (three times; KBO leader in 2011 and ‘12).
As a member of the Korean National Team, Yoon pitched in the Asian Games (2006 & ‘10), Olympic Games (2008) and World Baseball Classic (2009 & ‘13). In 2008, he helped pitch Korea to their first Olympic gold medal in baseball during the Beijing games, going 2-0 with a 2.34 ERA (7.2IP, 2ER) in five appearances. Yoon has made five total appearances in the World Baseball Classic, first going 2-0 with a 1.13 ERA (16.0IP, 2ER, BB, 13K) in four games for the silver medal winning squad in 2009, before making one start in 2013.
Since 2011, Yoon has recorded 3.72 strikeouts per walk. In 2013, he posted seven saves and a 3.60 ERA in 19 relief appearances, going 3-6 with a 4.00 ERA in 30 games overall. He will wear #18.
Infielder/outfielder Jimmy Paredes has been claimed on waivers by Kansas City, opening up a 40-man roster spot for Yoon. Paredes was claimed by the Orioles from Miami on Saturday.