The Korean Baseball Playoffs haven’t even started, and the transfer market is already heating up. At the center are the Lotte Giants and Samsung Lions. The two teams, which failed together in the fall baseball season, are looking to rebuild their rosters side by side.
Samsung is in more urgent need of an outside transfusion. The mound is more of a problem than the bullpen. The team’s offense, excluding home runs, is in the middle of the league, but its ERA is dead last. The bullpen was particularly bad.
The new manager, Lee Jong-yeol, focused on internal development rather than external recruitment. “I want to build a strong team that produces sustainable results, not a team that shines for one year,” he emphasized in his first statement on the 16th.
However, there are plenty of bullpen options this year. In addition to Kim Jae-yoon, who has recorded more than 30 saves for three consecutive years, Joo Kwon (KT) and Hong Gun-hee (Doosan) are eligible for free agency. If he can shake off the question marks attached to his physical condition, Ham Deok-ju (LG), who collected 16 holds this year with a 1.00 ERA, is also an attractive resource. While the long-term contracts he’s signed in the past have boosted his salary total, the fact that he’s gone the last two seasons without a major free agent signing is another reason to be aggressive.
Another variable is franchise star Oh Seung-hwan. He’ll turn 42 next year and is eligible for free agency after going 4-5 with 30 saves and a 3.45 ERA this season. He rebounded in the second half of the season, but his first-half slump is hard to overlook, especially considering his second-highest salary on the team (1.4 billion won). The need for a successor to share the load became even greater.먹튀검증
Lotte prioritized cracking down on house rabbits over outside hires. The two seniors, Ahn Chi-hong and Jeon Jun-woo, are the targets. Ahn Chi-hong led the squad as captain this season, batting nearly 30 percent with 63 RBIs. Jun-woo Jeon has the most home runs and RBIs on the team while also hitting over 30%.
The parent company’s big investment last winter has yet to pay off. Yoo Kang-nam, who cost $8 billion, was hitless early in the season, while Noh Jin-hyuk and Han Hyun-hee also underperformed. Including Park Se-woong’s non-free agent multi-year contract, the team spent 26 billion won at once, but failed to make it to the fall baseball season.
However, there is a possibility that the team will move aggressively in the transfer market as they replaced the general manager and manager together just before the final camp. Kim Tae-hyung, the new head coach, also spoke directly. When asked about free agents at his inauguration ceremony at Lotte Hotel in Busan the previous day, he replied, “Of course, the more players a manager has, the better.” It was interpreted that he was referring to the need to at least maintain strength and even reinforce it.