Jung-Hoo Lee, a possible Yankees target, ready to be posted

Jung-Hoo Lee, a possible Yankees target, ready to be posted

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – The requirements to post Jung-hoo Lee have been met, and the Korean Baseball Organization center fielder could hit the open market as soon as Monday, a source confirmed to the Daily News.

With the Winter Meetings underway, MLB Network’s Jon Heyman first reported that Lee could be posted on Monday while adding that the Yankees, Padres and Giants are among his suitors. The Mets have also been linked to Lee, and the 25-year-old had sparked inquiries from nearly half the league as of the GM Meetings in early November.

“He can play defense,” agent Scott Boras said at the time. “He has power. I think Jung-hoo’s gonna bring K-pop to MLB.”

A native of Japan, Lee became a star with the Korean Baseball Organization’s Kiwoom Heroes. He owns a .340 average over a seven-year career, and he won the KBO’s MVP Award in 2022. Lee slashed .349/.421/.575 while setting personal bests with 23 home runs and 113 RBI that season.

A lefty swinger, Lee hit .318/.406/.455 in 2023. However, an ankle injury limited him to 86 games. At the GM Meetings, Boras said that Lee would work out for teams later in the offseason so that they could judge his health and agility.

Lee’s calling card is contact. He has logged an average well above .300 each year of his career, and his strikeout rate has been under 6% each of the last two seasons.

While there’s no guarantee that Lee’s skills will translate to the States right away – it took Padres infielder and former KBO star Ha-Seong Kim a few seasons to adjust to major league pitching – his brand of offense would be a change of pace for the Yankees, who are looking for two outfielders this offseason.

They’ve been heavily connected to Juan Soto and Cody Bellinger, but Lee provides an alternative option in the second tier of available outfielders.

While Japanese players coming over from Nippon Professional Baseball have 45 days to sign after being posted, Lee will have a 30-day window as a KBO player. Japanese pitchers Yoshinobu Yamamoto and Shota Imanaga are among the international free agents who have already been posted.

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