BRADENTON, Fla — It’s no secret Byung-Hyun Kim is about to join the Pirates. That news broke three days ago, when terms were struck for an $850,000 major league contact. Kim is here in town and has passed his physical. There is a fully-stocked locker bearing his nameplate in the clubhouse.
So, where is Kim?
The right-hander was expected to settle in today and go through a light workout. However, the day came and went with no change in the status quo. When will Kim arrive? “Tomorrow,” we were told — the same message we’ve been hearing since Wednesday.
A team spokesman said there remained “details to work out” with the deal. That could mean Kim had some personal business to wrap up before reporting. Or, it could mean the Pirates are not quite ready to decide who gets whacked from the 40-man roster so Kim can take his place.
Do the Pirates designate someone such as John Van Benschoten or Ty Taubenheim for assignment, hoping they’ll clear waivers and remain in camp as a non-roster player? Possible.
Or is one of the long-awaited and much-discussed trades in the works, which could clear a major league veteran off the roster? There is a slight chance.
Or will Rule 5 pick Even Meek be returned to the Tampa Bay Rays? Doubtful. Management has been impressed with Meek, who fits into their long-range plans. Right now, I’d say he’s got about a 60-40 chance to break camp with the team. So much intrigue for Byung-Hyun Kim. Geez, what will happen if/when the Pirates ever sign a top-tier free agent?