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KBO asks MLB to post NC Dinos slugger Na Sung-bum

In this file photo from Nov. 17, 2020, Na Sung-bum of the NC Dinos celebrates his RBI single against the Doosan Bears in the bottom of the first inning of Game 1 of the Korean Series at Gocheok Sky Dome in Seoul. (Yonhap)
In this file photo from Nov. 17, 2020, Na Sung-bum of the NC Dinos celebrates his RBI single against the Doosan Bears in the bottom of the first inning of Game 1 of the Korean Series at Gocheok Sky Dome in Seoul. (Yonhap)

One of South Korea's premier sluggers will be knocking on the big league doors this winter.

The Korea Baseball Organization announced Monday it has asked Major League Baseball to post NC Dinos outfielder Na Sung-bum for MLB's 30 clubs. The decision came after the Dinos requested the Korean league take that administrative step and give Na a chance to reach the big leagues.

Under the posting system, any interested big league team will be able to negotiate with Na during a 30-day period. It will begin at 8 a.m. Eastern Time (ET) on the morning after MLB officially notifies its 30 clubs of Na's status and end at 5 p.m. ET on the 30th day.

Na, 31, joins Kiwoom Heroes' shortstop Kim Ha-seong as the second KBO player to ask to be posted this offseason. Na is represented by uber-agent Scott Boras.

Na appeared in 130 of 144 games this year, and batted .324/.390/.596 with a career-high 34 home runs and 112 RBIs. It was a nice bounceback season after Na missed most of 2019 with a knee injury. He split his time at right field and designated hitter in 2020.

If Na had stayed healthy in 2019, he would have completed his seventh full season and become eligible for posting. Instead, he only played in 23 games -- a player must be on the active roster for 145 days to qualify for a full season -- and had to wait another season to be posted.

A 10th overall pick out of college in the 2012 draft, Na has a lifetime .317 batting average in 937 games, along with 179 home runs and 729 RBIs.

He helped the Dinos win their first Korean Series earlier this month. In a six-game victory over the Doosan Bears, Na batted .458/.440/.625 with a home run, six RBIs and three runs scored.

"We're happy to help Na Sung-bum chase his major league dreams," Dinos' general manager Kim Jong-moon said. "We hope Na will be recognized for his talent and help raise the profile of Korean baseball."

If Na signs a major league deal, the Dinos will receive a transfer fee, depending on the value of his contract.

If the guaranteed value of the deal is $25 million or less, then the fee will be 20 percent of the contract. And if the contract is worth between $25,000,001 and $50 million, the fee will be 20 percent of the first $25 million, plus 17.5 percent of any amount exceeding that $25 million.

If Na signs for more than $50 million, the Heroes will receive $9,375,000 and then 15 percent of the amount exceeding $50 million.

Last winter, two KBO players, SK Wyverns' pitcher Kim Kwang-hyun and Doosan Bears' outfielder Kim Jae-hwan, were posted. Kim Kwang-hyun signed a two-year deal worth $8 million with the St. Louis Cardinals, but Kim Jae-hwan wasn't picked up by anyone and stayed in the KBO.

If Na is unable to reach an agreement during his 30-day period, then he won't be eligible for posting until Nov. 1 next year. (Yonhap)
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