clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Orioles rumors: Hyun Soo Kim refuses minor league assignment

Hyun Soo Kim will not be heading to the minor leagues.

Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Yesterday we reported that the Orioles were still trying to gauge whether or not Hyun Soo Kim would accept a minor league assignment, and today we have our answer; no. After Joey Rickard forced his way onto the major league roster by hitting .390/.471/.576 in 68 plate appearances this spring, Baltimore simply didn't have room for Kim, at least from their point of view. While the Orioles wanted Kim to head to AAA to help him get more experience before being added to the 25-man roster, that won't be happening.

"Kim would like to see his contract honored and executed faithfully. He also hopes to receive fair opportunities to continuehis career as a major leaguer with Baltimore."

The Orioles now have to make a decision on whether to add him to their roster, or release him and eat $7 million. In the grand scheme of things, that's not a lot of money to a baseball team, and if Baltimore is adamant that he's not ready for major league pitching now, and won't be down the road, it likely won't be a difficult decision to cut him.

This saga has been strange, especially given Kim's spring. While the Orioles keep pointing to his line of .182/.229/.182 as reason for their lack of faith in him, those numbers are heavily weighed down by his 0-23 stretch. However after collecting his first hit, Kim proceeded to hit .380 over his next 21 at-bats; and as Matt Snyder of CBS Sports pointed out, Jung Ho Kang had a similar trajectory.

"Kang hit .200/.280/.444 last spring and then hit .182/.208/.436 through April 28 last season as he transitioned from KBO to MLB. The rest of the season he hit .293/.363/.474 en route to finishing third in a crowded field for NL Rookie of the Year. This isn't to say the players are similar, but that the transition can be difficult."

In the KBO, professional teams are given 10-weeks to train before the start of the season, whereas Kim only had four weeks of games to acclimate himself to the increased competition. It's unclear how the Orioles are going to proceed now, and this latest development has cast another pall over their organization.