SARASOTA, Fla. – Is the Hyun Soo Kim era reaching an end before it really began? According to a report by Foxsports.com’s Ken Rosenthal, the Orioles have had internal discussions about allowing the South Korean outfielder to return to his homeland.
Kim, who began spring training 0-for-23, has improved somewhat, and is batting .182 in 16 games with the team. He has yet to have an extra-base hit.
He signed a two-year, $7 million contract with the Orioles last December.
In 2014, the Orioles signed another Korean free agent, pitcher Suk-min Yoon to a three-year contract, but after he spent his first season in the minors, the Orioles reached an agreement to send him back to South Korea.
The Orioles could pursue a similar arrangement with Kim, who contractually cannot be sent to the minors without his consent.
“I don’t know if we’re at that point, yet,” Duquette told Foxsports.com.
At this point, Kim is set to be the Orioles’ regular left fielder though they are impressed with Joey Rickard, who the team selected in the Rule 5 draft. Rickard is batting .392.
Duquette could not be reached for comment on Saturday night.
Meanwhile, Dale Thayer, who signed a minor league contract with the team last month, has opted out of his deal.
Thayer, who hadn’t pitched since Mar. 17, allowed three runs on seven hits in six innings.
He was standing by the bullpen in street clothes near the end of Saturday’s game, presumably to say goodbye to his teammates.
The 35-year-old Thayer has a lifetime record of 11-17 with a 3.47 ERA in seven seasons with the Rays, Mets and Padres.
The Orioles now have 42 players in camp including seven with minor league contracts.