BALTIMORE, MD – The Baltimore Orioles have apologized for an "unintentional breach of protocol" with an underage Korean baseball prospect.
The Orioles signed 17-year-old Kim Seong-min, regarded as South Korea’s top left-handed high school pitching prospect, to an international free-agent deal last month worth $500,000, enraging Korean baseball officials.
"On behalf of the Orioles organization, I offer a sincere apology to the Korea Baseball Organization (KBO) and the Korea Baseball Association (KBA) for the club’s unintentional breach of protocol in failing to tender a status check in the process of signing Kim Seong-min," said Dan Duquette, the Orioles' executive vice president of baseball operations, in a statement.
According to the Baltimore Sun, The Korean Baseball Organization, the professional league in South Korea, reportedly has a player contract agreement with MLB stating that a major league club interested in a prospect playing in South Korea – professional or amateur – must conduct a “status check” on the player’s signing eligibility through the commissioner’s office. The KBO contends the Orioles failed to do that.
The KBO has also banned Orioles scouts from attending KBA-sanctioned games, which include the national high school and college tournaments that serve as a treasure trove for scouts seeking the country’s top players.