The Los Angeles Dodgers have been active during this year’s international signing period, with reports indicating the club most recently agreed to terms with Cuban prospects Yusniel Diaz and Omar Estevez.
Given the Dodgers went well beyond their allotted $2 million in bonus pool money by the first day of the signing period, they’re spending is only inhibited by a 100 percent penalty tax and a $300,000 bonus limit for international signings in 2016 and 2017.
However, where the Dodgers are not limited in spending is on Korean players posted by their respective team.
The Nexen Heroes accepted a bid just over two weeks ago for the rights to negotiate with star first baseman Byung-ho Park. The identity of the team to submit the winning bid, valued at $12.85 million, wasn’t initially known and later revealed to be the Minnesota Twins.
On the heels of the Lotte Giants not receiving any bids for outfielder Ah-Seop Son, the team is expected to post third baseman Jae-gyun Hwang, with the Dodgers among the teams interested, according to Jeff Passan of Yahoo! Sports:
No bids on Ah-Seop Son, per Korean media. Next to be posted: Power-hitting 3B Jae-gyun Hwang, who has drawn interest from Dodgers, others.
— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) November 24, 2015
Passan later added Hwang will get posted on Wednesday:
Sources: 3B Jae-gyun Hwang is expected to be posted by the Lotte Giants tomorrow. Teams would have until next week to place a blind bid.
— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) November 25, 2015
It was previously reported Son and Hwang both requested to be posted this offseason. Korean Baseball Organization rules stipulate a club cannot accept a bid for more than one player per offseason.
Hwang, who will turn 28 in March, is coming off a strong season in which he hit .290/.350/.521, while setting career highs in home runs (26), doubles (41) and RBIs (97). Over nine career seasons in KBO, Hwang is batting .280/.343/.417. He could prove an attractive option for clubs given the thin market of free-agent third basemen.
The Dodgers currently don’t have any true depth to speak of behind Justin Turner at the hot corner. Alex Guerrero and Kiké Hernandez saw some time at third base last season, but both eventually transitioned to more of a role as an outfielder.
The Dodgers paid $25 million to the Hanwah Eagles for the rights to negotiate with Hyun-Jin Ryu in November 2012. Los Angeles then signed Ryu to a six-year, $36 million contract that includes an opt out after the 2017 season should Ryu throw 750 innings from 2013-17.
Last season the Pittsburgh Pirates paid Nexen $5 million to negotiate with Jung Ho Kang. The infielder then signed a four-year, $11 million contract with Pittsburgh.
Should the Giants not post and accept a bid for Hwang, they would risk losing him as a free agent following the 2016 season.