The Yankees are interested in Korea's Seung-Hwan Oh, who they could see as a way to fill out their bullpen with high end talent. Bring him over to America in order to serve as David Robertson's primary set up man would go a long way toward re-stabilizing the bullpen. No one can ever replace Mariano Rivera, but someone is going to have to take his place. Someone is also going to have to replace D-Rob as well, and that person could be Oh.
As the Samsung Lions' closer throughout his nine year career, the 31-year-old right-hander has an ERA of 1.69 and 2.20 FIP, striking out 32% of all hitters faced and led the league in Saves from 2006-2008, 2011, and 2012 in the Korea Baseball Organization. He was also the Korean team's closer in the World Baseball Classic, retiring 12 of the 13 batters he faced.
Clint Hulsey provides a detailed scouting report from the little that we know about him.
Oh features a 90-97 MPH fastball, with a slider he throws 80-89 MPH, and an occasional curve at 71-79 MPH. When high, the fastball is pretty straight (which seems to be his preferred location) and the general average I saw was about 93 MPH.
It's hard to know just what you're getting from international free agents, but taking a look at his mechanics is a quick and easy way to judge how he looks.
Oh has a quick delivery and a good healthy wind up as his hand leads, instead of his elbow. His mechanics are simple, despite the high leg kick, but he seems to jerk the ball in his over the top motion, which could eventually lead to some control problems in Major League Baseball. He isn't very tall, but he gets a good plane on the ball with plenty of downward movement. There is some concern over his non-slider breaking balls and that could lead to a platoon split in MLB.
He had a shoulder injury in 2009 and suffered from elbow issues in 2010 that limited him to only 14 innings that season. Fortunately, outside of his two injury plagued seasons, Oh has pitched at least 50 innings every season. He has also Improved his strikeout percentages since. In the three years since his injury, Oh has struck out 34% of all the batters he face, which is a 4% increase over the 2006-2008 seasons.
Seung-Hwan Oh will have to go through the posting process before he can come to America, but there doesn't seem to be much of a precedent for posting fees for relievers. Akinori Otsuka and Ramon Ramirez are the only two relievers to go through the posting system and neither player came anywhere near a $1 million posting fee. Ten years later I would imagine there to be some inflation with more money going to the more successful player.
Koji Uehara signed a three year, $13 million contract with the Orioles as a starting pitcher, but that could be a fitting contract for a reliever as Robertson will likely make around $5 million in 2014. As a definite reliever, Oh will probably require a posting fee of a few million dollars and an AAV of around $4 to $5 million over two or three seasons, but this is all just spitballing. While the final numbers could be off, the value he could provide will be too much to pass up on.