Free agent Park Chan-ho failed to reach a new contract with his former team, the Philadelphia Phillies, during the Major League winter meeting, Friday (KST). Park, who still wants a multiple-year contract to be a starter, was offered a one-year, $3 million deal to be a reliever, but his agent didn't accept the offer.
/ Korea Times File
By Yoon Chul
Major League Baseball (MLB)'s winter meeting ended Friday (KST) in Indianapolis, Indiana, but the lack of good news for Park Chan-ho has made Korean fans nervous.
Philadelphia Phillies right-hander Korean may pitch for another team instead of the National League (NL) champs.
Park's agent had several meetings with the Phillies, but they didn't reach an agreement. The biggest issue between the Korean and his former team is his utility. Park still wants to pitch as a starter but Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. only considers him as a reliever.
According to the Philadelphia Inquirer, the Phillies offered Park $3 million for one year. But the Korean veteran wanted a longer contract as a starter.
The Inquirer inferred that there's more of a possibility of the Phillies bringing in another free agent rather than re-signing Park.
There is also a rumor that the reason Amaro spent relatively little money to grab Park is to secure the money to bring in solid starter Roy Halladay of the Toronto Blue Jays.
"I don't think there is any likeliness (of a big trade happening) … there is nothing likely. How about that?" Amaro told the Inquirer.
Though Amaro spoke negatively about a move for Halladay, the Philadelphia local newspaper anticipated that the Phillies were interested, expressing that they are certainly more "likely" than about 27 other teams to acquire the ace on their Web site.
Up until now the New York Yankees, Boston Red Sox and Los Angeles Angels have expressed interest in the Blue Jays ace. But the most interesting offer for Toronto is headed by L.A. According to the Toronto Sun, they offered pitcher Joe Saunders, shortstop Erick Aybar and outfielder Peter Bourjos for Halladay. The Phillies may use J.A. Happ and Michael Taylor in a trade package.
But the problem for the Phillies is their budget, now having only $15 million to reinforce their side and Halladay's annual salary is already $15.75 million.
These considerations have led to Park only being offered $3 million, which is lower than his estimated value. The Phillies newspaper is also concerned that if the Phils fail to re-sign Park, who has had lots of other offers, they may not secure a reliable reliever.