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Orioles extend offer to Korean righty Yoon


BALTIMORE -- The Orioles have extended an offer to pitcher Suk-Min Yoon, MLB.com confirmed on Tuesday. Dan Duquette, Baltimore's executive vice president of baseball operations, declined to comment on the team's interest in the Korean right-hander.

Yoon, 27, is said to be coveted by five Major League clubs, and the Scott Boras client is an intriguing international option in a free-agent market that still includes starters A.J. Burnett, Bronson Arroyo, Ervin Santana and Ubaldo Jimenez.

Duquette -- who didn't rule out the Orioles signing more than one pitcher before camp -- expected the dominoes to fall this week in regard to the rest of the starters. Of that group, the O's are leaning more toward Burnett and Arroyo to avoid sacrificing a Draft pick, and that pursuit -- adding a durable innings-eating veteran -- is independent of the club's interest in Yoon.

"I want to say this: We have some more work to do this offseason," Duquette said this weekend. "We are going to see what we can do between now and when the season starts. If we can get the work done that we've been trying to get done, I think we will have a very competitive team."

What would Yoon add? The Korean righty has a fastball in the low 90s and was a member of the Kia Tigers' rotation until a shoulder injury last year moved him to the bullpen. It's unclear what his role would be if he signs with the Orioles -- who still haven't named a closer since trading away Jim Johnson -- although Yoon has fared well as a starter. He pitched 325 1/3 innings from 2011-12 and posted a 2.77 ERA for the Tigers over that span.

Yoon is the latest notable Asian pitcher on the O's radar, with the club signing the now-departed Tsuyoshi Wada and Wei-Yin Chen -- who is still part of the rotation -- under Duquette. Yoon is also being scouted by the Cubs, Twins and Giants, according to various reports, with the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reporting that the Rangers will watch the righty's bullpen session on Tuesday.

The Orioles' offer to Yoon was first reported by the Baltimore Sun.

Brittany Ghiroli is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, Britt's Bird Watch, and follow her on Twitter @britt_ghiroli. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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