Korean Kim Hyun-soo traded by Orioles to Phillies

By Catherine Chung
  • Published : Jul 30, 2017 - 11:34
  • Updated : Jul 30, 2017 - 11:34

South Korean outfielder Kim Hyun-soo has been traded by the Baltimore Orioles to the Philadelphia Phillies.

The O's sent Kim, left-hander Garrett Cleavinger and international amateur signing bonus pool space to the Phillies on Friday (local time) in exchange for right-handed starter Jeremy Hellickson and cash considerations.

Kim, 29, joined the O's before last season after an All-Star career in the Korea Baseball Organization. He becomes a free agent after the current season, and the deal ends a largely frustrating stint in Baltimore for Kim.

In this Associated Press taken on July 25, 2017, South Korean outfielder Kim Hyun-soo, then of the Baltimore Orioles, strikes out against the Tampa Bay Rays in the teams` Major League Baseball game at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Florida. Kim was traded to the Philadelphia Phillies on July 28, 2017. (Yonhap)

He has been riding the pine for most of the 2017 season, with the emergence of hot-hitting rookie Trey Mancini, who moved from his natural position at first base to left field as the Orioles sought to keep his bat in the lineup. Kim, who bats left-handed, was mostly a platoon player who sat against left-handers last season. But this year, he gradually lost playing time against right-handers too.

He leaves the Orioles with a .232 batting average, one home run and 10 RBIs in 56 games.

Kim had an inauspicious start to his career with Baltimore.

After a disastrous spring training in 2016, the O's sought to send Kim down to the minors where they hoped he could further hone his skills. Instead, Kim exercised his contractual right to refuse an assignment to the minors and made the team's Opening Day roster.

Frustrated Orioles fans booed Kim during the player introduction in their home opener.

But Kim worked his way into the lineup, and by late season, he was a fixture in left field for the Orioles. He ended up batting .302 with six home runs and 22 RBIs in 95 games, along with a .382 on-base percentage, the highest among all Baltimore players with at least 300 at-bats.

Kim joins the worst team in the majors this season. The Phillies are just 36-64, the only club that has yet to reach the 40-win plateau.

Aaron Altherr, 26, and Nick Williams, 23, have split left field duties for the Phillies of late, with veteran Daniel Nava on the disabled list. (Yonhap)