The Nexen Heroes of the Korea Baseball Organization announced Friday they had accepted a bid from an unknown team over the weekend. Park, 29, had been officially posted for a five-day bidding window last Monday. His representatives and the Twins will have 30 days to come to an agreement on a contract.
Mike Axisa of CBS Sports noted the Pirates and the Yankees were chiefly mentioned as potential suitors during the regular season. It's unclear how many teams posted a bid for Park, but the Twins winning the bid comes as a bit of a surprise. Jerry Crasnick of ESPN is intrigued by Minnesota's new-look lineup:
Park hit .343/.436/.714 with 53 home runs and 146 RBI for Nexen in 2015. It was the power-hitting first baseman's second straight 50-homer season, and he's hit at least 30 in each of the last four. While the competition increase from the KBO to MLB will undoubtedly lower that homer total a bit, Park also regularly hit for average and has shown a keen eye at the plate.
Adding a first baseman to the mix could mark an organizational transition away from Joe Mauer as its franchise player. The 32-year-old moved from catcher to first base in 2014, but that hasn't resulted in an offensive upswing.
Mauer posted a .265/.338/.380 slash line with 10 home runs and 66 RBI. He's due $69 million over the next three seasons despite posting a 2.0 wins above replacement combined in 2014 and 2015, per FanGraphs.
If the Twins can sign Park during their negotiating window, Mauer could be on the trade market this winter.
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