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16 players declare free agency

The top domestic baseball league said Saturday 16 players have declared free agency this offseason.

The Korea Baseball Organization announced that out of 21 players eligible for free agency, all but five have chosen to exercise their rights.

Two key members of the Samsung Lions, the three-time reigning KBO champions, are among the free agents. Outfielder Park Han-yi, the 2013 Korean Series MVP, and left-handed pitcher Jang Won-sam, who had a 2.25 ERA in two Korean Series starts, will look to cash in on their postseason success.

Their right-handed closer, Oh Seung-hwan, was also eligible, but the Lions announced Tuesday that they will allow him to test foreign markets this offseason. If Oh, the KBO’s all-time leader with 277 saves, wants to be posted for Major League Baseball teams or enter negotiations with teams in Nippon Professional Baseball, he must not exercise his KBO free agency rights.

The Kia Tigers’ right-hander Yoon Suk-min also declared free agency, but he has already expressed his desire to pitch in the majors.

He left for the U.S. last month to gauge interest and discuss his future options with his uber-agent Scott Boras. The Minnesota Twins are reportedly interested in the service of the 2011 KBO MVP.

Free agents have from Nov. 10 to 16 to negotiate with their current clubs. If these talks fall through, then they can negotiate with eight other teams in the league between Nov. 17 and 23. (Yonhap News)