The St. Louis Cardinals announced today that they have signed left-handed pitcher Kwang Hyun Kim (pronounced kwong yunn kim) to a two-year contract for the upcoming 2020-21 seasons. $4 million per year with up to $1.5m each season in incentives.
Kim, 31, is coming off a stellar season in the Korean Baseball Organization, posting marks of 17-6 with a 2.51 ERA (190.1 IP) over 31 appearances (30 starts) with 180 strikeouts. He was voted as the 2019 Best Pitcher after leading the KBO in quality starts (24) while ranking second in wins and strikeouts; and third in ERA and innings pitched.
Expected to compete for a position in the Cardinals starting rotation in 2020, Kim is aiming to become the 15th South Korean-born pitcher to appear in the Major Leagues and the second for St. Louis, following right-hander Seung-hwan Oh (2016-17).
Kim’s Best Pitcher award compliments his 2008 KBO Most Valuable Player award during his 19 year-old season, when the left-hander was 16-4 with a 2.39 ERA (162.0 IP) and 150 strikeouts during his second-year as a professional.
Winner of the 2008 Golden Glove award, Kim is also a former KBO league-leader in wins (2008, 2010), strikeouts (2008), win percentage (2008), ERA (2009), and innings pitched (2010).
The four-time KBO Champion with the SK Wyverns (2007, 2008, 2010, 2018) was also a member of the South Korean team that won the Gold Medal at the 2008 Beijing Olympics. Kim helped South Korea qualify for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and earned a Gold Medal for South Korea in the 2014 Incheon Asian Games. As a youth, Kim was a member of the South Korea U-18 World Cup Champions during his 16-year old season in 2006, while earning the World Cup MVP honors.
Kim, and his wife, Sang Hee, have a daughter, Minjoo, and a son, Minjae.
Nicknamed “KK”, Kim will wear uniform no. 33 for the Cardinals.