Major League Baseball did not approve the Baltimore Orioles' signing of 17-year-old Korean pitcher Seong-Min Kim due to a breach in protocol, MLB.com has confirmed. MASN Sports first reported MLB's plans to nix the contract. Baltimore executive vice president of baseball operations Dan Duquette issued an apology Friday after the Korean Baseball Organization filed a letter of protest against the Orioles, claiming the club broke protocol by not reaching out to the KBO before signing Kim to a contract on Jan. 30. Teams are required to make inquiries before negotiating with Korean amateur players. The KBO announced plans to ban the O's scouts from attending its amateur games.
According to MASN Sports, it remains possible that the Orioles could face further penalty for what Duquette termed an "unintentional breach of protocol," though that remains unconfirmed. The KBO said it had not been informed that discussions were taking place between the Orioles and Kim, and that the pitcher was in violation of its rules by being in contact with a team prior to his final year of high school.