SARASOTA, FLA. – Finally there was a sighting of South Korean pitcher Suk-min Yoon at the Ed Smith Stadium Complex on Saturday.
Yoon was found sitting in the lobby with his representative, Tad Hun Yo of the Boras Corporation. I recognized him from his now-famous selfie wearing an Orioles cap.
His representative politely declined an interview request with Yoon because the Orioles’ three-year, $5.575-million deal with the pitcher is still not official. He said he was still waiting for word that Yoon passed his physical, but tentative plans were to introduce Yoon to the media on Monday.
Yoon plans to stay in Sarasota instead of going back to South Korea to apply for a work visa. The club plans to apply for an I-94, a form all foreign players need to complete before they officially can join the club and play in games. That would prevent him from having to take a day-long trip back to South Korea to apply for a visa in his native country.
The visa process still could take about two weeks, and would include a trip to Canada, but in the meantime, Yoon likely would be able to work out with the Orioles at the Ed Smith Stadium complex and even participate in intrasquad and “B” games. That would be critical for a foreign player already arriving at camp late and trying to get adjusted to the American game.