In an effort to add depth to the bullpen last year, the Cubs signed RHP Chang-Yong Lim to a minor league contract in December of 2012 as he recovered from his second Tommy John surgery. The deal was reported as a two-year minor league contract at the time and was thought to include guaranteed money. Lim rehabbed in Mesa then worked his way up through the minor league system.
Lim pitched in 21 games over four levels of the Cubs’ system and finished with a 1.61 ERA and a 0.90 WHIP that culminated with 11 appearances out of Iowa’s pen. Lim struck out 12 batters and walked just four in 11 1/3 innings (0.79 ERA, 0.79 WHIP) for the I-Cubs. Lim was added to the 40-man roster and made his big league debut on Sept. 7.
Chang-Yong Lim had trouble throwing strikes in his six appearances out of the Cubs’ pen in September. Lim walked eight (one intentional) in five innings while striking out five and giving up three runs on six hits (5.40 ERA, 2.60 WHIP). With the contract he signed, the thought was after the season Lim would spend the winter on the 40-man roster and compete for a spot in the pen when Spring Training began.
But the front office decided otherwise and did not tender him a contract in December. Lim elected for free agency and is looking to catch back on with a big league team and has not ruled out a return to the Cubs.
According to a report from Korea, Lim’s goal is to pitch in the majors. Lim’s agent explained that pitching in Korea or Japan during the upcoming season “is not an option for his client at this point.” Lim is hoping to catch on with a team by February and if he is unable to then at that point he will explore other options.
Dong-Wook Kim, Lim’s agent, said he has to look closer at the contract his client signed with the Cubs in December of 2012. The contract was “uniquely structured” with non-guaranteed money that included “different salary rates between the times he spent in the big leagues and minors.”
Kim has asked the Cubs to send him more details on the contract that was signed.
According to the report, the Cubs appear interested in bringing back Chang-Yong Lim and told his agent “not to put too much stock into the non-tender situation.” The report went onto explain the Cubs have offered Lim an invitation to Spring Training.
The contract may also include language in which the Cubs would receive a “transfer fee” from a team in Korea or Japan in order for Lim to be able to sign a contract to pitch in either league next season.
Reports last December indicated Lim received a $100,000 signing bonus when he inked the two-year minor league contract with the Cubs. The deal was thought to be worth $5 million at the time and that the guaranteed money would not kick in until he was added to the 40-man roster. Lim was expected to be paid as any other minor leaguer, unless he made his way to the big league team.
There has not been an official announcement of the Cubs inviting Chang-Yong Lim to Major League Spring Training next month.
- Full Report from Yonhap News Agency
- Chang-Yong Lim’s Page on Baseball-Reference
- Report from Dec. 17, 2012 – Cubs Sign Chang-Yong Lim to Minor League Contract
- Report from Dec. 13, 2012 – A Full Roster, Two Contracts Pending and More Decisions on the Cubs Horizon