Blue Jays dip into the international free agent market
Last offseason, the Blue Jays brought two players from the international market to the major leagues. They signed Rafael Dolis who played with the Hanshin Tigers in Japan before he signed with the Blue Jays, and they also signed Shun Yamaguchi who came from the Yomiuri Giants.
From the Yomiuri Tigers, pitcher Tomoyuki Sugano has been posted by the team and has until January 7th to sign a major league contract. While the Blue Jays have been linked to him, they won’t be the ones to sign him.
If you fly two hours from Japan to South Korea, that’s where the Blue Jays will dip their toes as they’ll sign Ha-Seong Kim of the Kiwoom Heroes of the Korean Baseball League.
Kim is a versatile infielder who is primarily a shortstop but can also play third base and possibly other positions on the diamond. Last season in 138 games, he slashed .306/.397/.523 with 30 HR, 109 RBI, 163 hits, 23 SB on 25 attempts with more walks (75) than strikeouts (68).
Just about a week ago, he had dinner with Korean Blue Jay Hyun-Jin Ryu at the request of Kim.
He has until the new year to sign a contract and he will ultimately join his countryman in Ryu and put pen to paper with the Blue Jays.