Twins, Not St. Louis Cardinals, win bidding to negotiate with Byung Ho Park


"With a $12.85 million posting fee, the Twins have won the rights to negotiate a deal with Korean slugger Byung Ho Park."

Source: Twins win bidding to negotiate deal with Byung Ho Park

So there you have it. After much confusion this morning on Twitter, specifically on whether or not the Pittsburgh Pirates won the bidding war, the St. Louis Cardinals and Cardinal Nation can collectively exhale. Park will not be playing in the division.

Not that there’s any guarantee Park will amount to much in the Major Leagues anyway. Some scouts have

Will the addition of Byung Ho Kim help Joe Mauer return to All-Star form in 2016? Doubtful. Credit: Jesse Johnson-USA TODAY Sports

compared Park to former Cardinals infielder Mark Reynolds, but with more potential to hit for average. Not exactly a ringing endorsement for stardom, but you never know. As we documented earlier, few believed Jung Ho Kang would be much of a factor for the Pittsburgh Pirates. He ended up being a big reason the Bucs reached the postseason.

By process of elimination, beat and national baseball writers had whittled Park’s list of suitors down to seven teams over the weekend. The Pirates, Chicago Cubs, Milwaukee Brewers and Cincinnati Reds were among the suspected winners. The Reds and Cubs were long shots, though, given that both teams already have a superstar at first base. The Pirates seemed the likeliest high bidder given their experience with Kang and the fact that Kang and Park were teammates in Korea.

But that’s all moot. Park will get to enjoy a balmy spring in the North Woods (sarcasm), sliding into the slot vacated by the retiring Torii Hunter should Park and the Twins agree on a contract.

The American League Central is shaping up to be fascinating, particularly if the Kansas City Royals lose franchise lynchpin Alex Gordon to free agency (right now, the prevailing opinion is the Nebraska native will return to KC). The Detroit Tigers are in complete flux with David Price and Dave Dombrowski both gone. Miguel Cabrera can take you only so far, I guess.

Despite his league-leading 16 losses, Cleveland Indians ace Corey Kluber is still a great pitcher, and that whole starting rotation can strike out anyone. If shortstop Francisco Lindor can avoid a sophomore slump, the Tribe is yet another team that could be a threat. Which leaves the Chicago White Sox and poor Chris Sale in the basement.

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But again, who knows? The GM Meetings start today in Florida. Anything could happen, so stay tuned.