Reports circulated late Wednesday that Major League Baseball will void the Orioles’ contract with 17-year-old Korean pitcher Seong-Min Kim.
The league cites a breach in protocol as its reasoning for not allowing the signing, which reportedly included a $550,000 signing bonus.
Executive vice president of baseball operations Dan Duquette issued an apology last week regarding the Orioles’ involvement in South Korea after the Korean Baseball Organization protested that the Orioles did not follow protocol by contacting the KBO before signing Kim to a deal on Jan. 30. Professional teams are required to go through the KBO before beginning negotiations with amateur players. The KBO also announced Orioles scouts would be banned from scouting sanctioned amateur games.
The KBO also said that Kim was in violation of rules forbidding contact with a team prior to his final year of high school. He has been suspended indefinitely from playing and coaching in Korea.
The Orioles still hope to sign Kim despite MLB’s decision to void their initial agreement.