Masahiro Tanaka is not the only Asian pitcher that the New York Yankees are going to pursue this offseason in free agency. There is a Korean pitcher named Suk-Min Yoon—who will not require a posting fee to be negotiated with—that the Yanks are reportedly interested in, who is represented by super-agent, Scott Boras.
Yoon is not as highly touted as Tanaka, but with the state of the Yankees starting rotation, it can’t hurt to consider multiple possibilities. Yoon is a right-hander who pitched for the Kia Tigers last season, going 87.2 innings with a 4.00 ERA in 30 appearances this year.
A big question mark about him is that he had shoulder problems, which limited his innings this past season, coming out of the bullpen as well as starting for his Korean league team. He did win the MVP in 2011, but apparently his shoulder issues have set the 27-year-old back some.
I honestly don’t know much about Yoon, but it is reported that Boras and the Yankees general manager, Brian Cashman, will discuss the possibility of him joining the club in the upcoming week. He is also supposedly the second best pitcher in South Korea, behind the Los Angeles Dodgers rookie Hyun-Jin Ryu. But he shouldn’t be an expensive option, even with Boras as his agent, and shouldn’t be a high-risk opportunity. Ryu was the Dodgers’ No. 3 starter this season, and that’s only because they have the best one-two punch in the league with Clayton Kershaw and Zach Greinke.
Yoon also has a lot of international experience, pitching in the World Baseball Classic as well as the Olympics. The shoulder problems are the biggest red flag attached to this Korean import, but who knows how serious they really are. As I stated previously, the Yankees have serious holes in their rotation, and even with some in-house possibilities to fill those slots, it can’t hurt to give Yoon a look.