Who would've thought the Los Angeles Dodgers would have to deal with this unexpected stipulation as it pertains to recent international signing Hyun-Seok Jang? The top player in South Korea landed with the Dodgers last week and immediately slotted into the organization's top 30 prospects list.
But whenever you're dipping into foreign endeavors, it's important to know there could be some obstacles due to another country's law of the land, which is what the Dodgers are dealing with at the moment.
South Korea requires "physically-abled" men between the ages of 18-35 to serve 18 months of military service and Jang is currently eligible to do so ... unless South Korea's baseball team wins this year's Asian Games, which will take place from Sept. 23-Oct. 8.
The 19th annual event will take place in Hangzhou, China, and will feature South Korea and a number of other teams we just saw in the World Baseball Classic, such as Japan (the reigning champions), China and Chinese Taipei.
Jang will be on Korea's roster and could be exempt from future military service if they can be the last team standing, just like former MLBers Chan-ho Park and Hyun-jin Ryu were able to do.
Dodgers fans need to root for South Korea to win this year's Asian Games
The Dodgers signed Jang to a $900,000 signing bonus after the 19-year-old announced he would forgo the KBO Draft, where he was expected to be the No. 1 overall selection. LA made it happen rather quickly, too.
Following the trade deadline, Andrew Friedman sent two minor-league pitchers to the Chicago White Sox in exchange for $1 million in international signing bonus space, which allowed the Dodgers to make the move (they had the fewest amount of international money in MLB before the deal).
What a move it was, too. This was essentially a first-round draft pick for the Dodgers, as Jang slots in as the organization's No. 22 overall prospect without ever stepping foot on an American baseball field. The 6-foot-4, 200-pound pitcher is projected to make his MLB debut in 2027.
However, it could end up being later if he's forced into military service and loses a year and a half. One would think he serves the time as soon as possible if Korea doesn't capture the Asian Games, or else down the road he'll be in danger of sacrificing a valuable 18 months of his baseball prime.
It's certainly nothing to fret over, but it'd be convenient if this went away so either his MLB arrival doesn't get delayed or an important juncture of his pro career isn't interrupted.