NEW YORK: South Korean closer Lim Chang-yong is set to sign a deal with Major League Baseball’s Chicago Cubs, though the sidearm pitcher is unlikely to be able to take the mound again until late next season.
The 36-year-old righthander, who had elbow surgery earlier this year, told reporters at Incheon Airport yesterday he had long dreamed of signing for a major league team.
Lim tallied 296 saves in his 18-year career in Korea and Japan and could wind up pitching against compatriot Choo Shin-soo, who was acquired by the Cubs’ NL Central rivals Cincinnati on Tuesday.
“I want to play the kind of baseball that I’m known for, and give the fans enjoyment,” said Lim, adding that the deal was worth up to $5m over two years.
Lim, who spent the last five season in Japan with the Tokyo Yakult Swallows and is known for his scorching fastball, said the Cubs would give him enough time to recover from the surgery before putting him into the bullpen.
“After enough rehab I want to get back on the mound in the middle or towards the end of next season,” Lim said yesterday.