Byung-ho Park Bidding Rights Won by Minnesota Twins

Tyler Conway@jtylerconwayFeatured ColumnistNovember 9, 2015

Baseball player Park Byung-Ho of South Korea (R) rounds the bases after hitting a homerun during the men's semifinal game 14 against China at Munhak Baseball Stadium during the 17th Asian Games in Incheon on September 27, 2014. AFP PHOTO / Bay ISMOYO        (Photo credit should read BAY ISMOYO/AFP/Getty Images)
BAY ISMOYO/Getty Images

The small-market Minnesota Twins have made a big-market splash. MLB confirmed, via Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports, the Twins won the bid for coveted Korean first baseman Byung-ho Park.

Rosenthal and Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports originally reported the Twins turned in the winning bid of $12.85 million for the negotiation rights to Park. 

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:

Jerry Crasnick @jcrasnick

MLB source confirms @DanielKimW report. That's some intriguing lineup Terry Ryan and the Twins are assembling. https://t.co/lv4Ic3eG5H

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.

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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. 

Follow Tyler Conway (@tylerconway22) on Twitter.


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