Major League Baseball has yet to approve the signing of Seong-Min Kim, a 17-year-old Korean lefthander whose $575,000 signing last month has drawn the ire of Korean baseball officials.
The Korean Baseball Association, which is the governing body of Korean baseball, and the Korean Baseball Organization (Korea's top pro league) have sternly expressed their displeasure with MLB and the Orioles over Baltimore's failure to comply with the "status check" protocol agreement in place between the organizations.
For an MLB team to talk to a Korean player, the protocol agreement calls for the team to submit a status check on the player to MLB, which after hearing from the KBO then lets the team know whether it may contact the player. The Orioles did not follow that protocol and have since issued a public apology for their "unintentional breach of protocol."
According to Jee-Ho Yoo of Korea's Yonhap News Agency, KBO officials have said that MLB has also fined the Orioles an undisclosed amount for their conduct. It's not yet known whether MLB will end up voiding Kim's contract, but KBO officials also told Yoo that MLB will not approve the contract for 30 days.
The KBA has banned the Orioles from scouting any of its sanctioned games in Korea, including the pro leagues and amateur tournaments. Kim has also been suspended indefinitely from playing or coaching in Korea.
One aspect of recent reports that Korean sources say may have caused some confusion for people is that Kim has been reported as a high school sophomore. That technically is true, though Korean high schools last three years, so while Kim is in his second year, he would be a senior when school begins next month.
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