(Reuters) - The San Diego Padres have acquired the negotiating rights to South Korean pitcher Kim Kwang-hyun after submitting the highest bid in the posting process, Major League Baseball said on Thursday.
The SK Wyverns of the Korea Baseball Organization (KBO) accepted San Diego's $2 million bid for Kim, giving the Padres 30 days to sign the 26-year-old left-hander to a contract.
Considered the best starting pitcher in the Korean league, Kim had a 13-9 record and 3.42 earned run average in 28 starts in 2014. In eight seasons with SK, the 2008 KBO most valuable player has a 83-49 record and 3.28 ERA.
If Kim remains unsigned through the negotiation period, he will return to the KBO, and the Padres will not have to pay the posting fee.
(Reporting by Steve Keating in Toronto; Editing by Frank Pingue)