S. Korean pitcher Lim invited to Cubs' spring training: agent
SEOUL, Jan. 21 (Yonhap) -- South Korean pitcher Lim Chang-yong, recently released by the Chicago Cubs, has been invited to spring training by the Major League Baseball (MLB) team, his Seoul-based agent said Tuesday.
Kim Dong-wook, head of the local sports agency Sports Intelligence, said the 37-year-old right-hander will try to make the big league team again when the Cubs' camp opens in mid-February in Arizona.
The Cubs non-tendered Lim last month, making him a free agent on paper, but Kim said the Cubs have informed him that they still retain rights to the pitcher.
"We had no plans to move Lim," Kim said. "He has been invited to the Cubs' spring training."
After more than a dozen seasons in South Korea and Japan, Lim signed with the Cubs in December 2012. Kim, who became Lim's agent last month, said he'd reviewed Lim's complicated contract with the Cubs.
According to the agent, Lim remains under contract with the Cubs for 2014 after signing a two-year deal. It was a uniquely-structured deal with different salary rates for the time he spent in the minors and in the majors.
Lim made his big league debut in September last year after a call-up from the minors. He had Tommy John surgery to repair a torn ligament in his pitching elbow in July 2012 and spent the first half of 2013 in rehab, before making his first minor league appearance in July.
With the big league Cubs, Lim appeared in six games and had an ERA of 5.40 in five innings, with no win-loss record. He struck out five and walked seven in those five innings.
He made 21 appearances in the minors, allowing four earned runs in 22 1/3 innings for a 1.61 ERA. Lim pitched for the Samsung Lions in the Korea Baseball Organization (KBO) from 1999 to 2007 before leaving for the Yakult Swallows in Japan's Nippon Professional Baseball (NPB), where he spent five more seasons.
Lim led the KBO in saves three times, and has the most career saves by a South Korean pitcher in the NPB with 128.
Pitchers and catchers for the Cubs must report to the camp in Mesa, Arizona, by Feb. 13 and their first workout is scheduled for the following day.
According to Kim, Lim has been training on his own in Guam and had bullpen sessions last Sunday and earlier on Tuesday.
Kim said Lim has switched plans to spend some time in South Korea later this month before reporting to the Cubs' camp, and instead will keep training in Guam until early February and fly to Arizona from there.