MINNEAPOLIS -- The Minnesota Twins have won the bidding for negotiating rights to slugger Byung Ho Park, a 29-year-old first baseman who hit a total of 105 home runs over the past two seasons in the Korea Baseball Organization.
The Twins won those rights with a bid of $12.85 million, sources confirmed to ESPN's Jerry Crasnick. That's the second-largest bid ever paid to negotiate with an Asian position player, behind the $13 million the Seattle Mariners paid for Ichiro Suzuki.
Per KBO rules, the Twins have a 30-day exclusive negotiating period to sign Park to a contract. In the interim, Park will remain under control of the Nexen Heroes. If for some reason a deal isn't reached, the Twins would get their bid money back.
Park had a .343 batting average with 53 homers, 146 RBIs and 10 stolen bases last season and is a former teammate of Pittsburgh Pirates infielder Jung Ho Kang. The 6-foot-1, 194-pounder has a career .951 on-base-plus-slugging percentage in nine professional seasons in the KBO.
A two-time MVP of the KBO, Park has recorded 50 homers in consecutive seasons and has posted 100 or more RBIs in four straight seasons, averaging nearly 85 walks over that period.
Major League Baseball announced Monday the notice from Park's team in the KBO, the Nexen Heroes, that Minnesota's bid was the highest. The posting fee was not disclosed by either MLB or the Twins, who said they wouldn't comment on the process "out of respect" for Park and the Heroes.
ESPN Staff Writer Jerry Crasnick and The Associated Press contributed to this report.