“If he’s the right player and the right price…”.
The 2023 Korean Series just ended with the LG Twins winning their first title in 29 years. Now it’s free agency time. The Kia Tigers are also watching the market. Of course, they are not active. If they need a player and the price is right, they will participate in the market. They are focusing on internal free agents first. They are in talks with Kim Sun-bin and Ko Jong-wook, who are about to qualify for free agency, and Choi Hyung-woo, who is not a free agent.
At the same time, they haven’t given up on signing external free agents. This is because there are obviously vulnerable positions. Catcher, the biggest weakness, was addressed by trading for Kim Tae-gun and signing him to a multi-year contract. Han Jun-soo, the 2018 first-round pick, has also developed into a solid second catcher this year. A starting pitcher is also needed. LG’s Im Chan-kyu is on the market, but is likely to stay.
That leaves only one position of weakness: first base. In 2023, the team used seven different first basemen. If they had a first baseman who could hit, they would be playing fall ball instead of sixth place. Hwang Dae-in, who hit a career-high 91 RBIs in 2022, struggled.
Fortunately, a strong first baseman was available in free agency.
Yang Suk-hwan (Doosan) has hit 20+ home runs four times in the last five years. This year, he hit 21 of them over the fence. 먹튀검증토토사이트 Ten of them came in the night. He doesn’t have a high on-base percentage, but his power is there. He could hit even more at the Gwangju-Kia Champions Field. A home run can make a big difference in a game.
There’s also Ahn Chi-hong (Lotte), who played a key role in the 2009 championship as a high school rookie. He was a one-club man and left Lotte in tears after the 2019 season. He also played as a leadoff hitter for Lotte. His main position is second base, but he can also play first base. With Kim Sun-bin as a one-club man, he’s bound to play more first base if he comes to KIA.
Whether it’s Yang Suk-hwan or Ahn Chi-hong, the batting lineup will be even stronger if they sign anyone.
“It’s more accurate to say that we’re looking at market conditions rather than not signing outside free agents. We are not going to compete with the market by overestimating our own evaluation and market evaluation,” he replied.
“There are definitely areas where we are vulnerable. If it’s a player we need and it’s the right price, we’ll get him. But there is no overpayment. We will approach it with an open mind, keeping all possibilities open.” Regarding Yang Seok-hwan, he was coy, saying, “I haven’t heard an accurate market valuation yet.
“It depends on what Kia thinks it is, but if the price is right, they can get it. The flip side of that is that if there is competition and the price goes up, they won’t participate. In the end, the valuation of the two players will determine what KIA will do. It’s a cautious approach that also takes into account the losses: compensation players, salary cap issues, and fewer opportunities for Hwang Dae-in, Byun Woo-hyuk, and even Lee Woo-sung, who is trying to make the transition to first base.
Meanwhile, the KBO will announce the list of 2024 free agent eligible players within five days of the end of the Korean Series. Eligible players will have two days to apply for approval to exercise their rights. The day after the deadline, the KBO will announce the players who exercise their rights as free agents. FA-approved players can negotiate with all clubs starting the day after the announcement.