SARASOTA, Fla. - The selfie didn’t lie.
The Orioles have reached agreement on a three-year contract with south Korean pitcher Suk-min Yoon, according to an industry source. The team most likely will withhold confirmation until getting back the results of his physical.
Yoon will receive $5.75 million guaranteed over three seasons. The deal also includes performance bonuses for games started.
Yoon got the rumor mill spinning late Tuesday night after posting a photo of himself in an Orioles cap.
The Orioles had been regarded as the favorites to sign Yoon, given executive vice president Dan Duquette’s focus on the international market. Within the past few years, he’s signed Taiwanese pitcher Wei-Yin Chen, Japanese left-hander Tsuyoshi Wada and Cuban outfielders Henry Urrutia and Dariel Alvarez, among others.
Duquette has been trying to sign a veteran starting pitcher to slot behind Chris Tillman at the top of the rotation, and that search most likely continues. Yoon isn’t necessarily the final piece to the pitching puzzle.
The Orioles worked out Yoon, 27, at the Cal-Irvine campus during FanFest weekend and maintained a steady dialogue with agent Scott Boras, who also represents Chen, first baseman Chris Davis and catcher Matt Wieters.
Yoon is a three-time All-Star in Korea who twice has pitched in the World Baseball Classic, going 2-0 with a 1.13 ERA in 2009 and 0-1 with a 4.15 ERA in 2013. MLBTradeRumors ranked him as the 36th-best free agent.
Yoon’s best season came in 2011, when he went 17-5 with a 2.45 ERA in 27 games (23 starts) with the Kia Tigers and was named Most Valuable Player. He moved to the bullpen last year while dealing with a shoulder injury and went 3-6 with a 4.00 ERA and seven saves.
The Orioles could place Yoon at the back end of the rotation or use him in relief. T.J. McFarland served as the primary long man last year, but he’s expected to start at Triple-A Norfolk this season.
The Yoon signing will represent the Orioles’ biggest move of the offseason. They reached agreement with closer Grant Balfour on a two-year, $15 million deal in December, but backed away after his physical due to concerns over his right shoulder.
CBSSports.com first reported the agreement between the Orioles and Yoon.