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Monday, February 3, 2014
Hot Stove Talk: Suk-Min Yoon

By Richard Durrett

Note: This is part of a series looking at some external and internal possibilities for the pitching staff following the news that Derek Holland is expected to miss half the season.

Today's pitcher: Suk-Min Yoon

The Rangers have some interest in free-agent pitcher Suk-Min Yoon, sources confirmed Monday, but he also has a handful of other teams with interest. It's unclear when Yoon might make a decision and if the kind of terms he's seeking even make sense for the Rangers.

So who is Yoon? The 27-year-old right-handed Korean was considered the second-best starter in the Korean Baseball Organization last season (behind Hyun-jin Ryu) and had a shoulder injury that slowed his 2013 season. He had a 4.19 ERA in 11 starts and a 3.60 ERA in 19 appearances as the closer for the Kia Tigers. Before that, Yoon had a 2.45 ERA in 172 1/3 innings as a starter and a 3.12 ERA in 153 innings in 2012. He posted solid strikeout-to-walk ratios both seasons. Various reports have him with a fastball in the low 90s and a solid changeup. Yoon pitched in the 2008 Olympics and in the 2009 and 2013 World Baseball Classics.

This report out of Korea said the Rangers have scouted Yoon for two years. Yoon would not require draft-pick compensation or a posting free, as he is a free agent like anyone else. Scott Boras is his agent and that certainly wouldn't scare the Rangers away. Texas has had many dealings with Boras recently, including the seven-year deal signed with Shin-Soo Choo to be the club's leadoff hitter and left fielder.

Among the clubs also said to be interested: Cubs, Giants, Orioles and Twins.

It's yet another name to at least put on your radar as the Rangers continue to explore all external options before spring training begins.