ARLINGTON -- The Rangers are working out Korean free agent pitcher Suk-Min Yoon in Arizona and are among a half-dozen teams interested in signing him.
The Rangers' interest in the right-hander supposedly increased after Derek Holland underwent knee surgery last month; he will miss at least the first half of the season. But there is still some question if Yoon is ready to step into a Major League rotation and carry that burden for a full season.
Yoon, pitching for the Kia Tigers in the Korean Baseball Organization, missed much of the first half of the season with a right shoulder injury. When he returned, the Tigers did not rely on him as much as they did in previous years.
He pitched in 30 games, including 19 in relief, and was 3-6 with a 4.00 ERA and seven saves. His best season was in 2011 when he went 17-5 with a 2.45 ERA while striking out 178 in 172 1/3 innings. He was also one of the top pitchers on a Korean team that won the gold medal in the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing and finished second in the World Baseball Classic.
The Orioles, Cubs, Twins and Giants are also looking hard at Yoon. The Rangers have been heavily involved in the Pacific Rim and have had scouts watching Yoon for the past two years.
The Rangers go into camp looking for a fifth starter and the leading candidates are right-handers Nick Tepesch and Colby Lewis, and left-hander Robbie Ross.
Yoon can be used both as a starter or a reliever. But right now he is telling clubs he wants to be used as a starter.
Super Bowl-winning QB Wilson to visit Rangers' camp
ARLINGTON -- Rangers manager Ron Washington loves champions so he is certainly looking forward to Super Bowl-winning quarterback Russell Wilson coming to Spring Training.
The Rangers took Wilson in the Rule 5 Draft in December and he is planning to come to Spring Training at some point to work out with the team, most likely when the Minor Leaguers report in March. Wilson played second base in the Rockies organization in 2010-11 before devoting himself full-time to football.
"The guy has had a lot of success and he has a championship attitude," Washington said. "We're going to give him a chance to talk to our young kids and see what happens. Maybe [shortstop Elvis Andrus] and some of those young guys can hang with him and see what he has to offer."
The Rangers don't expect Wilson to give up football to play baseball or to attempt to become a two-sport player like Bo Jackson or Deion Sanders. They just like the idea of Wilson being in camp and being around their players, even if all he does is take batting practice and field a few ground balls. But if Wilson wants to get seriously better with the glove, there is a defensive expert more than willing to work with him.
"Of course," Washington said. "If he wants to learn what defense is all about, I will be more than happy to work with him. I don't know anything about his baseball skills but we certainly like his attitude. We want our players to see his work ethic on a baseball field. That could take you a long way."
The Rockies drafted Wilson in the fourth round of the 2010 First-Year Player Draft. He has played in 93 Minor League games with a .229 batting average, a .354 on-base percentage and a .356 slugging percentage. He also stole 19 bases.
T.R. Sullivan is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Postcards from Elysian Fields, and follow him on Twitter @Sullivan_Ranger. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.