MLB teams can now go after Korean stars Jung Hoo Lee, Woo Suk Go

NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Left-handed-hitting outfielder Jung Hoo Lee and right-handed reliever Woo Suk Go of the Korean Baseball Organization were posted by Major League Baseball on Monday and will have 30 days to reach agreement with one of its teams, spanning from 8 a.m. ET on Tuesday to 5 p.m. ET on Jan. 3.

Lee, whose bat-to-ball skills have drawn rave reviews, is expected to garner heavy interest in a free agent market light on impact offensive talent. Lee is only 25 and has batted .340/.407/.491 in seven KBO seasons, the last five of which came with the Kiwoom Heroes. A celebrated bad-ball hitter with outstanding contact rates, Lee has drawn 383 walks versus 304 strikeouts in his KBO career. He is represented by Scott Boras.

Lee's breakout season came in 2022, when he finally displayed some of the power scouts were looking for, accumulating 23 home runs and 113 RBIs while carrying a .349 batting average. Lee starred for South Korea in the World Baseball Classic this March, then slashed .318/.406/.455 in 86 regular-season games before requiring season-ending ankle surgery. He is training without limitations and might be an option for teams in center field, where he spent the vast majority of his time in South Korea.

Go, also 25, posted a 1.48 ERA and racked up 42 saves for the LG Twins in 2022, striking out 80 batters and issuing 21 walks in 60⅔ innings. He had a bit of a down year in 2023, his ERA rising to 3.68 and his WHIP going from 0.96 to 1.36. But he allowed only two home runs in 44 innings.

Major league teams signing KBO players also pay a release fee to their original clubs, which amounts to a percentage of the guaranteed money in the contract. Teams pay an additional 20% on the first $25 million, plus 17.5% on the next $25 million and 50% on any amount above $50 million. ESPN's Kiley McDaniel projected Lee to sign a five-year, $63 million contract.