Infielder Yang Seok-hwan, who was the biggest player in the FA market this winter, has successfully stayed in his original team. Kia Tigers had in mind to recruit Yang Seok-hwan, but had no choice but to address its weaknesses through internal training. Attention is focusing on whether Kia, which puts top priority on remaining Kim Sun-bin as an internal FA, will now shut down recruitment of external FA.
Yang signed the contract with his original team Doosan Bears for a total of 7.8 billion won for 4+2 years on Nov. 30. The total amount of the first four-year contract is up to 6.5 billion won (down payment of 2 billion won, annual salary of 3.9 billion won, and incentive of 600 million won). After the four-year contract was signed, the company included a two-year, 1.3 billion won mutual option that was initiated by an agreement between the club and the player.
In addition to Doosan`s original team, there were several other teams that paid attention to Yang in the FA market. KIA was one of those teams. 스포츠토토
Kia was the team that was most worried about first baseman among the field positions for the 2023 season. The team’s first baseman’s total WAR in the 2023 season was 0.63, ranking seventh in the league. It was a battleground through fog, with Choi Won-joon (0.69) having the highest WAR in the 2023 season among first baseman position. Byun Woo-hyuk, a promising player with high expectations, also had a batting average of 0.225 in 87 games, which made him settle down.
In the end, KIA also considered reinforcing the external FA this winter to reinforce the first baseman. Yang Seok-hwan, a 20-home run big gun, was the most likely sale. If Yang Seok-hwan joined, it was possible to complete the league’s strongest clean-up trio, which led to Na Sung-bum, Choi Hyung-woo and Yang Seok-hwan.
A baseball official said, “The most wary club on Doosan’s side was KIA, which looked at the market atmosphere after the FA market opened. If KIA had taken a deliberately active attitude like Samsung, which preempted Kim Jae-yoon at the same time as the market opened, there was plenty of room for the results to change.”
However, KIA did not take an active stance in recruiting Yang Seok-hwan as a result. That was why the team made staying with Kim Sun-bin as an internal FA his top priority.
“We are interested in recruiting Yang,” an official from Kia said before the announcement of the contract. However, we are placing top priority on Kim’s remaining in the FA. “We can think about recruiting Kim first after the issue of staying in the FA is resolved first.”
Of course, there is still a gap between Kia and Kim Sun-bin at the negotiating table, and attention is focusing on whether it will reconsider recruiting an outside FA over reinforcement of the infield depth. Now, the infield FA resources that KIA will show interest in are strong with Kim Min-sung. On top of that, Seo Geon-chang, a free player, could also be an option other than the list of players on hold. It is curious what kind of outcome Kia will produce in the FA market this winter, which had been waiting and seeing Yang Seok-hwan come out.