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Orioles sign P Yoon to three-year deal

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The Baltimore Orioles finally made a somewhat significant offseason signing, agreeing to a three year, $5.5 million contract with pitcher Suk-min Yoon.

The Orioles had been one of the favorites to land Yoon for quite some time and had extensive negotiations with his agent.

The urgency to make some type of move escalated for the O's after their pursuit of A.J. Burnett failed when he decided to sign with the Philadelphia Phillies.

There is some question as to where Yoon will fit in on the current club. He has experience as both a starter and a reliever, and the Orioles happen to need both.

He is expected to be nothing more than a back-of-the-rotation type starter, but could thrive in shorter stints coming out of the bullpen. In that respect, he reminds me a bit of Koji Uehara.

The Orioles still don't know what they want to do with their closer. Tommy Hunter is the leading candidate but struggles against lefties and is more valuable pitching multiple innings.

Bud Norris' name keeps getting thrown around, which is interesting since the O's were pretty high on him as a starter when they acquired him in a trade with the Astros before the July 31 deadline.

It's possible Norris is moved into the bullpen, even as the closer, opening up a spot for Yoon in the starting rotation. They could also keep Norris in the rotation and put Yoon in the bullpen, using him as a set-up man or possibly even the closer.

Yoon has seen a drop in velocity in the past year and has dealt with shoulder problems, which makes it ironic that the Orioles signed him given all their problems in the past with players and their physicals.

With that said, he's still very young and maybe he has a career like Uehara or even Wei-Yin Chen. Both have had success at the major league level, and the O's hope Yoon is more of the same.



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