A little over a year after signing South Korean pitcher Suk-min Yoon, the Orioles have parted ways with the right-hander.
Yoon signed a three-year, $5.575 million contract with the Orioles last February, but the 28-year-old struggled mightily with Triple-A Norfolk last season, going 4-8 with a 5.74 ERA in 95 2/3 innings. The writing was on the wall in how the organization had soured on him when he wasn’t invited to major league spring training, which prompted his request to be released in order to return to South Korea.
Instead of reporting for the start of minor-league camp, Yoon is instead returning to South Korea where he will re-join his former club, the Kia Tigers. He is a former Most Valuable Player of the Korea Baseball Organization as his best campaign came in 2011 when he was 17-5 with a 2.45 ERA in 23 starts and 27 appearances overall.
Executive vice president of baseball operations Dan Duquette has tapped into the Asian market with mixed results over the last few years as Taiwanese left-hander Wei-Yin Chen has become one of the club’s most consistent starters over the last three years while Japanese left-hander Tsuyoshi Wada and Yoon never pitched for the Orioles at the major league level.