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MLB takes formal step for big league clubs to sign S. Korean pitcher

Major League Baseball (MLB) has requested a status check on South Korean star pitcher Yoon Suk-min, baseball officials here said Tuesday, a formal administrative step before a big league club can sign any professional player from Korea.

The Korea Baseball Organization (KBO) said it informed MLB that Yoon is eligible for free agency after being asked about the 28-year-old's status in the top domestic league.

The request is the second of its kinds after MLB first tendered a status check to the KBO in October when Yoon was still under contract with the Kia Tigers during the postseason.

Under an agreement between MLB and the KBO, a big league team interested in a South Korean player must go through the background check through the league offices.

Yoon, voted the MVP here in 2011 after winning the pitching Triple Crown, will soon be leaving for the United States to discuss his options, according to his agent, Scott Boras Corporation.

The three-time KBO All-Star has a career record of 73-59 with 44 saves and a 3.19 ERA in 303 appearances. In 1,129 innings, he has struck out 949 batters and walked 345.

(Yonhap News)

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