Park Byung-Ho

The Minnesota Twins won the bidding for KBO star Park Byung-ho, and it seems the day of him playing for them finally is getting closer.

The first baseman who has been playing for Nexen Heroes for the last five seasons departed for the United States this weekend in order to work out a deal with the Twins. They have a week to get things done (until December 8) and there’s an optimistic feeling that things might be patched up in the time remaining.

How much will he make? When comparing Park to his former teammate Jung-ho Kang might give a sense of his next salary. Kang signed with the Steelers a year ago on a four-year, $11 million deal. He did very well in Pittsburgh, hitting .277 with 15 home runs. Park is a better hitter (.343 last season) with 105 home runs over the last two years, winning the MVP three times since 2012, including for the 2015 season. He should be able to get a multi year deal worth up to $10 million and immediately become one of the highest paid players in the organization.

If the Twins do sign him, it’ll be interesting to see how it affects the declining Joe Mauer, who might be all-everything for the Twins, but at some point, the calls to push him down the lineup due to his fading batting average will be answered. Maybe the Twins were waiting for the right player (who cost them $12.8 million in the bidding to have the right to sign him) to come along, and Park, 29, certainly seems like someone who can have that kind of impact right away.

Image: Source