Report: Mets, Rockies interested in Kim

The New York Mets and Colorado Rockies have interest in adding Boston Red Sox reliever Byung Hyun-Kim to their bullpens, the <I>Denver Post</I> reported Sunday. <P> Kim, who will be 26 by Opening Day, spent most of last season at Triple-A Pawtucket in the Red Sox system, his first extensive experience in the minor leagues through his up-and-down career.

The Mets had discussed him as part of a mega-deal that would have brought Manny Ramirez to New York last month, the newspaper reported.

Once a 20-year-old rookie sensation who jumped three levels to pitch most of the 1999 season in the major leagues, Kim was the closer for an Arizona Diamondbacks club that defeated the New York Yankees in the 2001 World Series.

Kim saved 19 games and posting a 2.94 ERA for that club, and a year later, notched 36 saves and compiled a 2.04 ERA for Arizona. But a 2003 trade to Boston for corner infielder Shea Hillenbrand proved to ruin many of the good vibes Kim had created in Arizona.

Immediately of question was his track record against the Yankees – most prominently, consecutive blown saves in Games 4 and 5 of the 2001 World Series.

Although Kim posted decent numbers in his first year with the Red Sox, going 8-5 with a 3.18 ERA in 49 games, his defining moment with the Red Sox came when he lifted his middle finger toward booing fans at Fenway Park before Game 3 of the American League Championship Series.

Kim's 2004 season was nearly a total loss to injury. Considered an early competitor to challenge Bronson Arroyo as Boston's fifth starter, Kim was sidelined in spring training by first a sore back, then inflammation in his right shoulder. He made just seven appearances (three starts) at the major league level, spending most of the year at Pawtucket, where he was 2-6 with a 5.39 ERA in 22 games (19 starts).

Kim was also forced to return to his native South Korea in June for treatment of a leg injury, and was shelved due to tightness in his lower back during a rehab stint with Pawtucket.

Colorado is also interested in signing veteran reliever Robb Nen, according to the Post.

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