If the Orioles are going to open the door to the Korean market, they'll have to choose a different item from the shelves.
According to a tweet from MyKBO, which I began to follow last month, pitcher Chong Tae-Hyon has decided to stay in Korea rather than come to the U.S.
Chong has signed a four-year, $3.1 million contract with the Lotte Giants. The Orioles reportedly offered the submarining right-hander a two-year deal worth $3 million.
Executive vice president Dan Duquette confirmed during the Winter Meetings that Chong was deciding whether to accept an offer in Korea.
Chong came to Baltimore last month and was examined by team physicians, and his signing appeared to be a formality, though there was speculation that they had some concerns about the results.
I'm sure that the Orioles will confirm Chong's signing with Lotte later today.
Chong was viewed as a potential late-inning reliever. Some scouts believed he was nothing more than a Double-A pitcher in the majors.
We may never know.