The Chiba Lotte Marines appear to have come to terms with 27-year-old KBO infielder Tae-Gyun Kim.
Ryozo Setoyama and other members of the front office went directly to Korea to meet with Kim today. No further information is known at this time.
Today marked the first day free agents in the KBO could sign with teams outside of their own.
=== UPDATE 4:11PM JST
Via the Chiba Lotte Marines site:
=== UPDATE 6:32PM JST
Looks like Kim got a 3-year deal worth 150M yen per year.
=== UPDATE 11/14/2009 @ 12:59PM JST
It appears he got a 100M yen signing bonus as well.
=== UPDATE 11/17/2009 @ 11:38AM JST
Kim was assigned the number 52. The Marines have also asked the fans to come up with a nickname for Kim.
And from the same article, a brief Q&A:
Your decision to join Lotte?
I had strong feelings to play in Japan. I also wanted to play in a good environment. Lotte though well of me. And my strong performance during the WBC has allowed me this opportunity.
Your thoughts on the Japanese baseball community?
It's a little higher than the Korean leagues. I don't think there's a very big difference amongst the individual players, but there are a lot of really good players [in Japan].
Are you looking forward to facing a WBC foe, Iwakuma, again?
I haven't really singled out one particular player. I want to face all the pitchers in Japan.
Your stat goals?
The first thing is being able to play my game. It would be great if I can mix in with the team and bat 4th. I don't want to focus on home runs alone, but also hits when they're needed.
On your number being 52?
Ever since I was a kid, through the bad [and good] I've always worn the number 52. I appreciate [Heiuchi] giving the number up for me.