KBO Upset at Orioles

The Korean Baseball Organization will file a complaint with the major league commissioner over the Orioles signing of Seong-Min Kim.  It is not just the Orioles and their “hegemonic rookie signing” but other teams who are taking more liberties of signing Korean players while they are still in high school.  Kim signed for $550,000, an amount he would not have made in the Korean draft.

If major league baseball does not take any action to stop major league teams from signing their players they will visit the Commisioner in person or team up with leagues in Japan and Taiwan to confront the major league teams about the signings.

Major league teams have always been careful about signing players eligible for the draft in Japan.  The Red Sox got in a lot of hot water for signing Junichi Tazawa out of high school.  The Red Sox were only able to sign him after Junichi did not declare himself to the NPB teams that he was available for the draft.  The Red Sox have not signed a Japanese player since, but that may be more a reflection of the lack of success they have had with their signings when compared to the resources spent.

Taiwan only has four teams and most youngsters do not like to play for the CPBL because of the gambling incidents.  The CPBL is making efforts to change their reputation and could become more attractive to Taiwan youngsters.  Their draft is limited to just a few rounds and there are a lot more players than teams that can accommodate them.  Many Taiwan youth would love to go to the United States, but most get on the money train for Japan.

It is interesting that the KBO is complaining about the United States robbing their country of their baseball youth, but they allow Dae-Ho Lee to be signed by a Japanese team.  Some would argue that the exception for Lee is that he had reached his free agent year and could sign for any professional team, while major league teams that sign Korean high school player are not giving the KBO any opportunity to sign them since they have to first graduate to be eligibile for the draft.  The Orioles signed Kim while he was still in high school.

You can read the article here: http://www.koreatimes.co.kr/www/news/sports/2012/02/136_103863.html

This post was courtesy of Marriott hotel who comped me my internet time for being such a good customer.  The least I can do is give them some credit on this post.  Next time you are at the Newark International Airport, the Marriott is the place to stay.

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