The Mets are among the teams interested in signing Korean free agent LHP Kwang-Hyun Kim, reports Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic, who says Kim is also drawing interest from the Royals, Diamondbacks, Dodgers, and Cubs.
Kim was posted by his Korean team -- the SK Wyverns -- on Friday. Per the new posting rules, Kim's former team would take a percentage of the contract he signs in the majors, meaning no additional cost will be required by the signing team.
The 31-year-old Kim is viewed by some scouts as more of a swingman than a full-time starter, but he was quoted recently saying he would like to negotiate with MLB teams who plan to use him as a starting pitcher, according to MLBTradeRumors.
According to FanGraphs' scouting report on Kim:
"Stuff wise, Kim has a nasty, tilt-a-whirl slider he deploys as his primary swing and miss weapon; the rest of his repertoire (a low-90s fastball, low-70s curveball, and upper-70s changeup) is average or below."
Kim had a 2.51 ERA and 1.24 WHIP with 180 strikeouts in 190.1 IP (30 starts, one relief appearance) this past season in Korea. He also had a sub-3.00 ERA in 2018, during what was his first season back after Tommy John surgery.
For his career -- spent entirely in the KBO -- Kim has a 3.27 ERA and 1.32 WHIP with 1,456 strikeouts in 1,673.2 IP over 12 seasons.
The Mets, who are expected to lose Zack Wheeler via free agency, are interested in adding a starting pitcher, with GM Brodie Van Wagenen highlighting that area along with the bullpen and center field as spots they want to improve and/or add.
Depending on what Kim cost, he could be a solid option as a No. 5 starter. But if he profiles as more of a reliever in the majors, teams like the Mets -- who need rotation help and expect to contend in 2020 -- are probably better off turning elsewhere.