For the first time in the club’s history, he chose to become a former general manager. He was even an outsider who only played for the LG Twins when he was an active player. As such, he was confident in Samsung’s choice, and Lee Jong-yeol, 50, was busy from the beginning of the stove league as if to repay his faith.월카지노
However, Samsung has yet to sign any contract with any of the three players in the internal free agent market. Notably, word of renewal of contract with Oh Seung-hwan (41), a team franchise star and legendary closing pitcher of the Korean Baseball Organization, has yet to be reported.
Nevertheless, fans’ support for Lee draws attention. This is because the move convinces fans enough and brings clear hope for the next season.
The Samsung Lions is no longer a club of rich people who were called the “money castle.” It has been a long time since the team shifted its focus to self-sacrifice and emphasized nurturing, but the team has neither produced good results nor clearly instilled potential for the future in recent years. The team showed good performance enough to compete for the championship of the league until the final game in 2021, but there was no continuity. It finished the season by ranking seventh last year and eighth this year.
Samsung eventually appointed Lee as its chief and vowed to benchmark Teo Epstein, who is known for his “efficient operation.” As soon as the Stove League opened, Lee was busy.
Lee Jong-yeol, who took over as Samsung’s general manager after the season. / Photo = Samsung Lions
Lee, who had a telephone conversation with Star News in the early days of the Stove League, said, “We all know that Samsung has a thin player base. We will focus on building up that,” but added, “We will not recruit meaningless players. Even if there is a player that we want, we cannot afford to play in Overpay. We can proceed only when we have as much as we think (the amount).”
He received a lot of criticism for his anxiety about the back door this season, but as soon as the FA market opened, he jumped on Kim Jae-yoon, the biggest player in the bullpen. He drew a four-year contract for a total of 5.8 billion won. Lee said, “I was busy as soon as the market opened,” and Kim Jae-yoon also said, “The prestigious Samsung Lions made a good offer and I felt the sincerity that they needed me.”
Despite the fact that he overlapped with Oh Seung-hwan, Lee said in a telephone conversation after recruiting Kim Jae-yoon, “It can be a very well-intentioned and pleasant competition. From the manager’s point of view, it’s much better,” adding, “I’ve talked a lot with him and I can coordinate everything. I don’t think there will be any problems at all.”
As soon as he was appointed as the general manager, he constantly communicated with head coach Park Jin-man and was called the “Hong Gil-dong general manager” as he frequently traveled back and forth between Korea and Japan, where the closing camp is held, and said, “I’ve made a lot of strategies, but there’s not much I can move because the salary cap is full,” but added, “I’m aiming for strategies immediately.”
In the second draft, the team sent Woo Kyu-min, who received 250 million won (270,000 U.S. dollars) in annual salary for this year, to left-handed pitcher Choi Sung-hoon (113 million won) and underhanded Yang Hyun (85 million won), as well as infield resources Jeon Byung-woo (80 million won). The team gave up veteran pitchers, who were on a downward trend, for 400 million won (390,000 dollars), and added 500 million won (420,000 dollars) to recruit three more net resources.
He also clarified his intention to catch Oh. It is hard to imagine Oh playing in a uniform other than Samsung. Except for the periods when he played in the Japanese professional baseball (NPB) and the U.S. Major League since his debut in 2005, he has thrown balls only at Samsung.
He won 42 games, lost 24 games, and held a whopping 400 saves in the KBO League. It is an unprecedented level, and every moment will become history of the KBO League in the future. Fans are eager to see Oh’s historic moment together, and the club is also reading their minds.
However, Samsung is cautiously approaching FA players as it does not have enough salary cap space. Samsung spent 11.4 billion won (14.24 million dollars) and 10.04 billion won (17.419 million dollars) in salary cap, which was implemented for the first time this year. It was the fifth team among 10 teams to have a gap of 985.65 million won. It also brought in FA Kim Jae-yoon. It can be seen that Lee’s remarks that “the salary cap is full” were not a good exaggeration.
While negotiations with internal FA players still haven’t made much progress, another news of power reinforcement has been heard.
Instead of Jose Pirella, who played for three seasons as a filial son and a foreign hitter, he brought in David McKinnon. He gave a cap of 1 million U.S. dollars to a foreign player who was spending his first season. This proves his high expectations. He has a good understanding of Asian baseball through his experience in NPB and is likely to ease manager Park Jin-man’s worries about the composition of his batting lineup as he can defend infield corners.
In addition, Connor Seabold, a new foreign pitcher who had been playing in the MLB until this year, was also recruited. Similarly, the contract was worth 1 million dollars.
On top of that, Lee Min-ho, a right-handed pitcher who was released by the NC Dinos, was also brought in. He signed a contract worth 45 million won (34,000 U.S. dollars) per year. Despite his low risk, he is an experienced pitcher who recorded 33 wins, 24 losses, 31 saves, and an ERA of 4.88 in 337 games, and hence Samsung is well worth investing in.
Of course, in order for the Stove League to be successful, it is necessary to let Oh Seung-hwan and David Buchanan renew their contracts. However, just two months after the appointment of the team’s general manager, fans have expressed their support and expectations for the changed Samsung. This is why Samsung fans can relax and watch the Stove League without worrying about Oh and Buchanan’s remaining foreign pitchers.