The Nexen Heroes of the Korea Baseball Organization (KBO) has reportedly announced that it has accepted a $12.85 million bid for first baseman Byung-Ho Park from an undisclosed Major League Baseball (MLB) team.
This means that the team who won the negotiating privileges now has 30 days to devise and finalize a contract. It is not yet known what major league team submitted the winning bid but it is expected to be announced in the coming week.
Since the said bidding process works essentially like a silent auction, teams' moves are not exactly shared with the media. However, some league sources claim that the Boston Red Sox are interested in Park and is said to be one of the teams that have scouted for the South Korean slugger. According to Yahoo Sports' Jeff Passan, the Red Sox already have a "working agreement" with the Nexen Heroes regarding Byung-Ho Park.
The 29-year-old Park was posted by his team for MLB clubs last Monday. The posting period was up until Friday and the Nexen Heroes had until this coming Monday to either reject or accept bids. It looks like they wasted no time and accepted a bid from an unknown MLB team. Meanwhile, if the winning bidder fails to submit a contract and no agreement is made within 30 days, Park will return to his country and continue playing in the KBO.
Park has been a remarkable power hitter in Korea, particularly in his last two years as he managed to hit 50-plus home runs with a 120-plus RBI along with an an average of above .300 in both seasons. He has hit more than 30 home runs every year since becoming a full-time player back in 2012.
The success that his former teammate Jung Ho Kang enjoyed in his first year with the Pittsburgh Pirates has likely influenced the Heroes' posting fee for Park. The first baseman's $12.85 million bid is more than double the $5 million that the Pirates paid for the rights to negotiate with Kang last year.
The number of major league clubs was believed to have exceeded one dozen as many teams are longing for a full-time, power-hitting first baseman, according to Tom Singer of MLB.com. While baseball enthusiasts still do not know who won Park's rights, numerous sources have ruled out the following teams, claiming that they did not participated in the bidding: Cleveland Indians, Detroit Tigers, Texas Rangers, Baltimore Orioles, and the San Diego Padres.