San Diego, CA- The San Diego Padres under new general manager A.J Preller have made it clear that they will be active in the international market. The San Diego Padres made the first international transaction of the off-season, as Ken Rosenthal reported this morning that the San Diego Padres have posted the highest bid for Korean left-handed pitcher Kwang-Hyun Kim.
The San Diego Padres bid was $2 million and tonight Kwang-Hyun Kim’s team SK Wyverns has accepted the Padres bid, according to Dan Kurtz of MyKBO.net.
Kurtz reports that the San Diego Padres will have 30 days to work out a deal with Kwang-Hyun Kim and his agent Melvin Roman. Roman also represents Padres catcher Rene Rivera and Padres prospect Reymond Fuentes.
The Padres experienced success in the international pitching market this past season with the signing of Odrisamer Despaigne. Padres ownership has made it a priority to be more active in signing impact players in the international market. In addition to Kwang-Hyun Kim the Padres have also been heavily scouting Cuban slugger Yasmany Tomas and are considered to be “in the game” to sign Tomas.
Kwang-Hyun Kim, 26, is considered the best pitcher in the Korean Baseball Organization and is looking to be the second player to make the Major Leagues from the KBO. Los Angeles Dodgers LHP Hyun-Jin Ryu was the first player to make the Major Leagues from the KBO.
Kwang-Hyun Kim expressed his excitement for the opportunity to play in the Major Leagues to Yoo Jee-ho of Yonhap News.
“Now that I’ve been given a chance to try to reach the majors, which has been my lifelong dream, I’ll try to make the best of the situation and prove myself on the biggest stage.” -Kwang-Hyun Kim
Kwang-Hyun Kim went 13-9 with a 3.42 ERA in 28 starts last season and finished in the top five of the Korean Baseball Organization in wins, ERA and strikeouts. The KBO is considered a very offensive friendly league and Kwang-Hyun Kim was one of only six pitchers to have an ERA under 4.00.
According to Yoo Jee-ho, Kwang-Hyun Kim is mostly a two-pitch starter whose fastball sits in the low-90s and can top out at 96 mph. He can throw a sharp slider that can break vertically or horizontally.
The Padres desperately need to add impact offensive bats this off-season and it is well understood that the Padres will need to trade from their pitching depth to add a impact bat. By signing Kwang-Hyun Kim the Padres add another quality arm to their pitching staff, as possible preemptive move for when the possibly trade one of their top starting pitchers this off-season.