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Cubs Could Bring Back Korean Righthander Chang-Yong Lim

A Korean news report says the 37-year-old reliever is interested in returning, and the Cubs might just do that.

Brian Kersey

Korean righthander Chang-yong Lim signed a two-year split contract with the Cubs as he was coming off Tommy John surgery. Lim pitched very well in the Cubs' minor-league system in 2013 (1.61 ERA, 0.896 WHIP in 21 appearances covering 22⅓ innings), well enough that he was recalled in September. He made six appearances, five of which were decent-to-good, the sixth, not so much. Command was an issue: seven walks in five innings.

The Cubs non-tendered Lim after the season was over, but this news report out of Korea (fortunately, in English) says the Cubs are interested in bringing him back, according to his agent, Kim Dong-wook:

Earlier this month, the Cubs didn't offer the 37-year-old pitcher a contract. Lim wasn't eligible for arbitration.

The Cubs chose to retain younger players on their 40-man roster instead, but Kim said the Cubs appear to be still interested in bringing back the South Korean pitcher.

Kim said he will need to go over Lim's complicated contract and he'd asked the Cubs to send him more details early next month.

"The Cubs told us not to put too much stock into the non-tender situation, because they're still interested in Lim," Kim said. The Cubs also reportedly offered Lim an invitation to their spring training early next year.

The article also says that Kim's former team in Korea might have to pay a transfer fee to the Cubs to bring him back and they're not likely willing to do that.

You can never have too many pitchers. Lim, obviously, was still recovering from TJS last year and might still be an effective big-league reliever. The Cubs have at least 10 pitchers (Alberto Cabrera, Justin Grimm, Blake Parker, Brooks Raley, Hector Rondon, James Russell, Pedro Strop, Jose Veras, Carlos Villanueva and Wesley Wright) on the 40-man roster alone who are competing for the seven bullpen slots out of spring training, not to mention the recovering-fron-injury Kyuji Fujikawa and Arodys Vizcaino, plus others from the minor-league system.

But it certainly can't hurt to extend a NRI to Lim, if he's willing to accept one.