The Minnesota Twins have won the negotiating rights of $12.85 million for first baseman Byuing-ho Park, according to Daniel Kim of KBSn. Minnesota will have a 30-day contract negotiating window to agree on a deal with the Korean slugger.
Jon Heyman of CBS Sports confirmed the report of Minnesota winning the bidding rights for Park. Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports also confirmed the report originally made by Kim regarding the Twins receiving the rights to negotiate a contract with Park.
On Saturday morning, Han Lee of Global Sporting Integration reported the news that the Nexen Heroes, Park's Korean Organization Baseball (KBO) team, had accepted a winning bid from a Major League Baseball (MLB) club. The winner, however, was not reported until Monday morning.
If an agreed deal is made, Park will play alongside top prospects Miguel Sano and Byron Buxton. With the three amigos, plus a few other key players, the Twins have quietly put together a very good team that could sneak into the playoffs this season. One possibility, among many, is trade Trevor Plouffe, play Sano at third base. That would give the Twins the option of using Joe Mauer and Park at first base or designated hitter. Obviously there are many things Minnesota could do, this is an option.
While Park is excited to get a shot at playing in the Big Leagues, he is focused on the Premier 12, which is a competition between international baseball teams, including the United States of America.
"I'd like to thank everyone for helping me chase my major league dreams," Park said through the club. "But there are many more steps that I have to take before reaching the big leagues. And as a member of the national team, I want to do the best I can to help the country achieve good results at the Premier 12."
If the slugger can not find a deal with the Twins, he can not be posted again until November 1, 2016. His 2016 season would be played for the Heroes, or in the Nippon Professional Baseball (NPB) league, which is in Japan.
Park, 29, made his professional debut in the KBO with the LG Twins in 2005. The first baseman did not play from 2007-2008 because he joined the Korea Armed Forces Athletic Corps Baseball Team to serve a two-year military service.
On July 31, 2011, Park was dealt to the Heroes with Shim-Soo-chang for Kim Seong-hyeon and Song Sin-yeong. It was good for the slugger because he got out of his backup role, behind Lee Taek-keun, with the LG Twins.
Park's best season was 2015, which he hit .343/.436/.714 with 53 home runs and 146 RBI.