Catcher Kim Min-sik, who is in the FA market, is facing difficulties in FA negotiations with his original team, SSG Landers. The SSG club has completely changed the negotiation atmosphere with Kim Min-sik as it recruited another FA catcher, Lee Ji-young, in a sign-and-trade. LG Twins and Doosan Bears, who need backup catchers, are drawing attention as Kim Min-sik’s new destination in the FA market, but salary caps are expected to be hampered again.헤라카지노도메인
The SSG club officially announced on Jan. 12 that it had acquired catcher Lee Ji-young in a trade with the Kiwoom Heroes on the condition of 250 million won in cash and the right to appoint a rookie in the third round in 2025.
Kiwoom club also said on the same day, “After signing a two-year FA contract with Lee Ji-young, who is a free agent (FA), for a total of 400 million won (350 million won per year, 50 million won option) for a two-year contract, we traded with SSG club on the condition of receiving 250 million won and the right to select the third round of the rookie draft in 2025.”
Catcher Lee Ji-young, who signed a contract with SSG through a sign-and-trade. Photo = SSG Landers
Eventually, Kim Min-sik, who had been continuing the internal FA negotiation table with SSG, seemed to float in the middle. Kim Min-sik came out of the FA market this winter and was negotiating with an emphasis on remaining in the SSG club. The SSG club also continued to negotiate with Kim Min-sik with the opening of the FA market. The gap between the two sides continued from the beginning of the negotiations. There was also an atmosphere of gradually narrowing, but the period of stagnation in negotiations was somewhat long.
SSG proposed revised terms of the contract by raising the amount of guarantee to Kim Min-sik at the end of last year. It also suggested the direction of the contract with two options depending on the contract period. Kim Min-sik’s side delivered feedback on the team’s terms of the contract in early January after a long period of consideration. It was a proposal that he wanted to raise the amount of guarantee further. However, SSG recently expressed its intention to “overpay” over the terms of the contract proposed by Kim Min-sik.
After announcing the recruitment of Lee Ji-young, Kim Min-sik said, “We presented our proposal during the negotiations in the first week of January, expressing his desire to conclude the contract with SSG Landers well. It is embarrassing that such a situation has suddenly happened.”
In response, the SSG club said, “When the club judged last week’s final proposal by the player, there was a considerable gap in the amount of money guaranteed, so it would not be possible under those conditions earlier this week.” The player contacted me to meet again this week, but negotiating officials had difficulty coordinating immediately due to the schedule of the business trip. In the process, the situation of Lee Ji-young’s negotiations, which started in early January, progressed and the announcement was made.”
The SSG club did not express its intention that the remaining negotiations with Kim Min-sik have broken down. However, the conditions last offered by the club are now not expected to be valid. It is highly likely that the conditions, which have been significantly reduced than the final conditions, will be delivered in the negotiations that may take place next time.
Eventually, due to Lee Ji-young’s move to SSG, Kim Min-sik is also in a situation where he has to consider moving to other teams in more depth. The problem is that the FA market is a very harsh environment for small and medium-sized FA players this winter. Most of the clubs always put their wallets on the grounds of salary cap. It is not an atmosphere that it is easy to recruit foreign FA.
Among the 10 KBO League clubs, the team that needs a veteran catcher the most is the Kiwoom Heroes, where Lee Ji-young left. However, Kiwoom plans to focus on fostering Kim Dong-heon, a promising catcher, without external reinforcement. The Hanwha Eagles, which needed a veteran backup catcher, recruited Lee Jae-won, who became a free body from SSG.
In fact, LG and Doosan have few options left. LG utilized Heo Do-hwan, another veteran catcher, as backup for its main catcher Park Dong-won. As Kim Ki-yeon transferred to Doosan through the second draft of the KBO in November last year, the team continues to agonize over resources needed for backup catcher. Doosan is also striving to find backup catcher who can support its main catcher Yang Eui-ji’s defensive inning. Recruitment of Kim Ki-yeon is a part of that.
If Kim Min-sik moves to another team, there may be a chance that he will move to LG and Doosan. However, the biggest variable is that both LG and Doosan have the tightest salary cap. LG already has to calculate annual salary cap with the FA, keeping in mind that it violates the salary cap once. Doosan also reportedly cannot afford salary cap under the assumption that it will catch its internal FA pitcher Hong Geon-hee. The existence of Kim Ki-yeon, who has to guarantee time to play in the first division, is also a factor that suppresses Doosan’s movement.
Now, Kim Min-sik is expected to eventually choose to stay in the team as a condition for the SSG club to propose in the future, or consider transferring to other teams through a longer-than-expected ultra-long-term game. There may be enough urgent need for a veteran backup catcher, but there is no guarantee when that time will come. With the spring camp departure approaching right now, attention is being paid to what kind of movement and decision Kim Min-sik will make.