No FA gift for Lotte’s winning contractor? There was no reproduction of 17 billion won in wide range

Lotte is the team that has not won a championship for the longest time in the KBO league. Since 1982, Lotte has continued its history as a pro in 1982, and its regular season title has stopped in 1992. It was a whopping 32 years ago. 경마

Lotte, which had been in the top ranks until early June last year, ended the regular season in seventh place, and displayed a winning move by replacing both the general manager and the manager. In particular, the recruitment of Kim Tae-hyung, who is considered the “winning contractor,” demonstrated Lotte’s strong commitment. Kim was a master who led the Doosan Bears to advance to the Korean Series for seven consecutive years and to win three Korean Series titles. Lotte made a commitment to start anew by appointing Kim Tae-hyung as its coach. Still, Lotte’s winter has remained quiet.

Rather, it contrasts with Lotte’s move, which heated up last winter. After the end of the 2022 season, Lotte actively rushed into the FA market. After a long-running “catcher attack,” Lotte set off a four-year contract with Yoo Kang-nam for a total of 8 billion won, and foreign shortstop Dixon Machado also settled the issue by signing a four-year contract with Roh Jin-hyuk for a total of 5 billion won. On top of that, Lotte made a “broad move” to recruit three external FA players for the first time since its foundation, signing a 3+1 year contract with all-weather pitcher Han Hyun-hee for a total of 4 billion won. The total amount of money invested in them amounted to 17 billion won.

The atmosphere is different this winter. Lotte had no significant move other than signing a four-year FA contract with franchise star Jeon Joon-woo for a total of 4.7 billion won (approx. Captain Ahn Chi-hong also became a free agent, but Lotte had no choice but to step back as Hanwha boldly bet 7.2 billion won (approx.

An Chi-hong was a built-in second baseman for the past four years when he was with Lotte. Adding more power is not enough, but it has turned into a negative factor.

Of course, Lotte had some moves. Lotte conducted a trade deal with LG to recruit veteran left-handed pitcher Jin Hae-soo and brought in left-handed pitcher Lim Joon-seop, who was released from SSG, focusing on thickening the left-handed pitcher’s depth. In the second draft, Oh Sun-jin and Choi Hang were appointed to prepare for Ahn Chi-hong’s absence. Foreign players also led one-two punch Aaron Wilkerson and Charlie Barnes to stay, bringing in new foreign hitter Victor Reyes to complete the formation.

However, Lotte could not afford to present a “FA gift” to the “winning contractor.” Lotte has effectively withdrawn from the FA market. When Jeon Jun-woo and An Chi-hong’s future was decided, a Lotte official said, “We should consider that there are no plans to recruit additional FA players.” However, Lotte could not afford to make reckless investments. As Koo Seung-min and Kim Won-joong, two key players in the bullpen pitcher lineup, will both be qualified as FA after the 2024 season, Lotte had to prepare for this and consider salary cap. Some point out that unlike the last FA market, there are relatively few attractive big-name players in this FA market.

Does Lotte have to decide on its leadership this year? It is imperative not only to upgrade its power through internal competition but also to make the best effort of FA trio recruited ahead of the last season. Kim Tae-hyung, manager of Doosan Bears, led his team to the top position while watching numerous star players leave for FA, including Kim Hyun-soo, Yang Eui-ji, Min Byung-hun, Lee Won-seok, Oh Jae-il, Choi Joo-hwan, Park Geon-woo and Lee Yong-chan. Attention is focusing on whether Kim Tae-ho, who overcame the crisis despite being on the test bench every year, will be able to display his potential at Lotte as well.

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