Club ‘shock’ as Son fails to get any offers from MLB

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Club ‘shock’ as Son fails to get any offers from MLB

Son Ah-seop’s dream of playing in Major League Baseball (MLB) next year is over after the Lotte Giants outfielder failed to get any interest from an American club.

The Korea Baseball Organization (KBO) informed the Giants on Tuesday that none of the 30 MLB clubs made a bid for the 27-year-old since he was posted last week. The Giants described the lack of interest as “shocking”.

The Busan-based club originally planned to have an internal meeting once it received the posting result and had already notified reporters they will not make immediate decisions on what they assumed was Son’s inevitable departure. But since no one applied to negotiate with Son, they have been left in an embarrassing position.

Son went to the army on Monday for basic four-week military training. The lefty hitter doesn’t have to serve a full year military service since he got his exemption due to Korea’s gold medal in the 2014 Asian Games.

“With the cooperation of the military, we contacted Son because we thought it is right to tell him the result,” said Lotte Giants general manager Lee Yoon-won to Ilgan Sports, an affiliate of Korea JoongAng Daily. “We told him ‘don’t let it hurt your feelings too much’ and he said ‘I’m fine.’”

After Nexen Heroes slugger Park Byung-ho drew a bid of $12.85 million from the Minnesota Twins through the posting system, there was speculations Son would also get a positive response. Some U.S. media outlets expected the outfielder would draw $5 million from five or six clubs.

With the failure, Son now has the option of starting contract talks with interested teams in Japan’s Nippon Professional Baseball (NPB) or returning to the Giants. He can pursue his American dream as a free agent after the 2016 season is over.

The Giants will now post their third baseman Hwang Jae-gyun who also asked the club to be posted for the MLB next season. The KBO allows only one player from each team to go overseas in a season through the posting system.

Hwang, who is also participating in basic military training, had .290 batting average, 26 home runs, and 97 RBIs in 144 games this year.
The 27-year-old also played in the Premier 12, where his best performance came against Venezuela with two home runs.

BY JOO KYUNG-DON [joo.kyungdon@joongang.co.kr]

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