South Korean pitcher Lim Chang-yong has been released by the Chicago Cubs, the Major League Baseball team announced Tuesday.
The Cubs' official website stated that Lim was "granted his unconditional release" on Monday local time. The 37-year-old is now a free agent.
The right-hander with a sidearm delivery made his MLB debut last September, after a call-up from the minors. He had Tommy John surgery to repair a torn ligament in his pitching elbow in July 2012 and spent the first half of 2013 in rehab, before making his first minor league appearance in July.
Lim appeared in six games for the Cubs, posting a 5.40 ERA in five innings, with no win-loss record. He struck out five and walked seven.
He was non-tendered by the Cubs in December but earned an invitation to spring training for this year. In preseason games, Lim threw four innings in four appearances, giving up two earned runs on two hits and two walks, for a 4.50 ERA.
He was first optioned to the Cubs' Triple-A affiliate in Iowa on Saturday, before getting released outright.
Lim began his professional career in the Korea Baseball Organization in 1995 and spent 13 seasons with two different teams. He pitched the next five seasons for the Yakult Swallows in the Central League of Japan's Nippon Professional Baseball before joining the Cubs.
Lim led the KBO in saves three times and has the most career saves by a South Korean pitcher in the NPB with 128.
The Lions, for whom Lim played from 1999 to 2007, retain the prior right to negotiate with the pitcher should he choose to return home. Last December, the Lions had said they would be willing to open contract talks with Lim if he's unable to find a team in the United States, but Lim responded through his agency that staying in the U.S. remained his priority. (Yonhap)