Last December the Cardinals were in the bidding war for Jung-Ho Kang’s services but they lost out to the Pittsburgh Pirates. The Cardinals, led by director of player personnel Matt Slater, have scouted Park and the rest of the Korean league extensively last two seasons and have had multiple reports analyzing his potential as they deliberate whether to submit a bid and the dollar amount of that bid.Park had hit 31 homers in 2012 and 37 in 2013, Park’s long ball total soared to 52 last season, and he’s already belted six in 103 plate appearances this season. However, with the increase in power came an uptick in strikeouts, as his strikeout rate jumped from about 17 percent in 2013 to 25 percent in 2014. His 24 punchouts in 103 PAs this season seem to suggest that the increase in whiffs could be a lasting trend.Park is listed at 6’1″, 236 pounds and is set to turn 29 years old this July, so if he were to be posted, teams would still be potentially buying some prime years. While his placement on the low end of the defensive spectrum likely limits his value somewhat, a potential prime-aged, right-handed power bat could add an interesting wrinkle to free agents like Mike Napoli, Chris Davis and Justin Morneau.
The Cardinals now must face a deadline of 4 p.m tomorrow on Friday to make their first important decisions of the off-season. Here are the rules on tomorrows bidding…All major-league teams interested in bidding for Park, who hit more than 50 home runs each of the last two seasons in Korea, must submit their sealed bid to the major-league office by 4 p.m. Central time on Friday.
Major-League Baseball will then determine which team has submitted the highest bid and notify the Korean Baseball Organization, which will then inform Park’s team, the Nexen Heroes, of the amount of the high bid.
The team, which will not know the identity of the major-league team that submitted the high bid at that point, will then have until Nov. 11 to decide whether or not to accept the bid. It is likely, however, they will make that decision earlier – and almost certainly will accept the bid.
Once the team accepts the bid, the winning team will have 30 days to negotiate a contract with Park and his agent, Alan Nero. I was told six teams are very interested in bidding for Park, the teams that were mentioned are the Pirates, Red Soxs and the A’s. I would love to see the Cardinals land a bona fide home run hitter which they haven’t had since Albert Pujols. If they land Park, he would definitely add the power the Cardinals have been missing.