Cardinals Sign Kwang-hyun Kim

Josh Calloni, Reporter

Yesterday, the Cardinals inked a two year contract worth eight million dollars with Korean left hander Kwang-Hyun Kim. 

The lefty was posted from the KBO’s SK Wyverns earlier this month, and had until January 2nd to agree to a deal with a major league organization. The Cardinals had him in St. Louis for a physical and to negotiate a contract over the weekend, and struck a deal yesterday. 

Kim has a track record of a starter in Korea, starting 276 of his 298 career games in Korea. However, yesterday’s introductory press conference, John Mozeliak said that Kim will be given every opportunity to start, but will accept a bullpen role if that is needed come March. Over his 12 seasons in Korea, Kim posted a 3.27 ERA with 1456 strikeouts. He missed the entirety of 2017 with a Tommy John surgery. 

“I think Kim will be pretty good. His pitch movement will translate well here, and if he can locate his fastball it’ll be a good move,” junior Aiden Alderson said. 

Kim’s pitching repertoire shows up as a three pitch mix. Kim has a soft fastball, topping out at 91 miles per hour on average. He also throws a slider, which is his strikeout pitch. The slider has plus movement according scouting reports, and is good for inducing fly balls and strikeouts. Kim’s third pitch is a curveball. Like his slider, it has good movement. His curve is not a pitch he frequently turns to, however, though with stateside pitching coaches, that might change.

“I think this move is fine, as long as the Cardinals don’t settle and decide this is the best thing to do for the entire offseason,” senior Ethan Seymore said. 

As for how he plays out with the Cardinals, his role truly depends on the situation with Carlos Martinez. If Martinez isn’t prepared to start, Kim will be penciled into the rotation. However, if Martinez is prepared to enter 2020 as a starting pitcher, Kim should pair with Andrew Miller as a lefty out of the bullpen with the ability to work multiple innings if needed. 

As for his opinions on being here, Kim said he was pleased to be a Cardinal and felt the rich history behind the team when touring Busch Stadium.