The Broiler 

Tomorrow night a new crop of players will be let loose on the free agent market, giving the Giants more options from which to fill their remaining needs (in descending order of importance):

- left-handed hitting 1B/3B or backup outfielder
- backup middle infielder
- starting pitcher
- backup catcher

The much-maligned Hee Seop Choi could be among this newly emancipated group, as discussed here. I'd like to see the Giants go after Choi as a platoon option with Niekro, which would free Sweeney to play more outfield and come off the bench as a key pinch-hitter.

But there's another Korean lad I'd love to see in a Giants uniform. Much to the horror of El Lefty Malo's Tokyo bureau chief Morse-San, I'd welcome Byung-Hyun Kim as the fifth starter. Morse-san does not harbor ill will against Kim because of long-seeded regional and ethnic tensions; no, Morse-san is in fact a diehard Red Sox fan and unfondly remembers Kim's Boston tenure as a disaster in which B.K. earned the nickname "The Broiler."

As in, getting lit up. Do I need to explain everything?

Apparently in Boston beleaguered relief pitchers and fast-food joints have deep, intimate ties.

Kim's work in Boston was, if not mouth-wateringly packed with sodium and trans-fats, at least quite adequate. It was more his untimely idea of a civic salute that sealed his fate.

He landed in Colorado last year, where his walk-rate and hits allowed went way up. However, he also fared badly away from Coors Field, so not exactly a rebound season for the sidearming whopper.

But a gamble on a rebound in '06, especially away from the mindfuck of Coors Field, must be worth a million bucks or so. The Rockies are trying to work something out with him, according to the Rocky Mountain News:

The Rockies would like to bring back Kim, but it's going to be for about one-fifth of the $6 million he earned last year, and Kim will have to reclaim his spot in the rotation.

That's all? He's had a rough couple of years, but he's only 26 years old and has an excellent lifetime K/9 rate over 9. Despite alarming walk totals in '05, his career K/BB ratio is still well over 2.

If he doesn't work something out with the Rox -- we'll know by Jan. 8 at the latest -- I wouldn't be hopping mad to see him sign a cheap one-year deal with the Giants.


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