Update on KBO first baseman Byung-ho Park

Major League Baseball still hasn’t learned the identity of the mystery team that posted the winning bid on Korean slugger Byung-ho Park. We just know that, as expected, the Orioles fell short.

The Nexen Heroes announced yesterday that it accepted a $12.85 million bid. I heard this morning that the Orioles didn’t win the rights to negotiate exclusively with Park, which came as no surprise.

The $12.85 million only ensures a 30-day window to negotiate with Park. MLBTradeRumors.com projected that he will receive a five-year, $40 million contract. That’s money that moves the Orioles beyond their comfort zone on the international market.

orioles-dugout-sidebar.jpgThe Orioles have scouted Park multiple times over the past few years and liked him enough to submit a bid, a total that hasn’t been confirmed. The team hasn’t said much about him publicly, not wanting to show its hand to other teams.

Park will return to Nexen if he doesn’t reach agreement on a deal and the posting fee will be returned to the unidentified team.

The Indians, Tigers, Rangers and Padres didn’t submit the winning bid, according to various reports. Check them off the list.

The Orioles could use an infusion of power in their lineup if Chris Davis leaves via free agency. Park also would have provided a nice upgrade in their bat flipping. He’s a pro. See this video for an example.

Park, 29, is a two-time Most Valuable Player in the Korean Baseball Organization who’s hit 105 home runs and driven in 270 runs over the past two seasons. He batted .343/.436/.714 with 35 doubles, 53 home runs, 146 RBIs, 78 walks and 161 strikeouts in 622 plate appearances over 140 games this year.

Park is a career .281/.387/.564 hitter in parts of nine seasons. He didn’t accumulate more than 201 at-bats until 2012 (469).

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