Kiwoom sitting on a cash cushion for “transfer fee of 24.6 billion.” Lee Jung-hoo’s message, “I hope you spend more for the players.”

Lee Jung-hoo made a “golden return” through Incheon International Airport on the 19th (Korean time) after completing the schedule of the San Francisco Giants’ joining ceremony. Amid the news of Lee Jung-hoo’s arrival into the country, Incheon Airport was crowded with reporters and fans.

Lee Jung-hoo failed to play a full season due to ankle surgery, and despite not being posted, he received hot attention from major league clubs throughout the stove league. San Francisco, as well as New York Yankees, New York Mets, Toronto Blue Jays, San Diego Padres, and Chicago Cubs, competed hard to hold Lee Jung-hoo in their arms until the end, and Lee Jung-hoo was won by San Francisco.

With the unyielding competition, Lee Jung-hoo’s ransom soared naturally, far exceeding the prospect of CBS Sports, which predicted the highest contract size at six-year $90 million (about 117.6 billion won), which includes the opt-out clause with San Francisco. There was a prospect that Lee Jung-hoo could be close to the size of the contract of Masataka Yoshida (Boston Red Sox, five years $90 million), but none of them exceeded this and expected a mega contract of more than $100 million.

With the final confirmation of his trip to San Francisco through a six-year, $113 million (about 147.6 billion won), Lee Jung-hoo beat both “Awesome Kim” Kim Ha-sung (San Diego Padres, 4+1 year, 39 million dollars) and “Korean Monster” Ryu Hyun-jin (then LA Dodgers, 6 years, 36 million dollars) to win the largest contract among the players who entered the Major League through the KBO League. Moreover, he beat Yoshida as an Asian fielder, and ranked second among Asian players, including pitchers, behind Masahiro Tanaka (Rakuten Golden Eagles) of 155 million dollars (about 25.5 billion won). 스포츠토토

The highest-paid player in the San Francisco squad this year was Jak Pederson. When he accepted San Francisco’s QO after the 2022 season, he had 1.65 million dollars. However, as Pederson entered the free agent market this year, San Francisco’s annual salary king changed. It is Lee Jung-hoo. With all of his 113 million dollars guaranteed, Lee recorded 18.33 million dollars annually, surpassing Logan Webb and Michael Confoto (18 million dollars).

Lee Jung-hoo was also quite surprised by San Francisco’s offer. Rumor has it that when he was offered an ultra-large contract worth more than 100 million U.S. dollars, he collapsed and was so happy that he covered his head. “This was my first offer. I can’t reveal the details as it is not polite to the teams that negotiated, but it is an honor to go to a prestigious club called San Francisco. I think I should repay you with a play that matches the investment made by the club,” Lee said smiling.

When asked if he was a full leader, Lee said, “I feel a little better now,” smiling shyly. “In a way, my contract was concluded earlier than my seniors, but I had mixed feelings.” When asked, “Isn’t it burdensome?” Lee said, “What the agent (Scott Boras) said was the most memorable thing. It is true that I felt pressured at first, but he said, “Don’t feel pressured because you have been rewarded for playing baseball from your childhood up to now.” So now, I am looking forward to it rather than feeling pressured.”

Lee was happy to be able to donate along with embracing a big contract. Lee’s contract includes a donation clause of $60,000 (about 78.42 million won) in 2024 for the “Giant Community Fund,” $80,000 (about 145.56 million won) in 2025, $110,000 (about 143.77 million won) each from 2026 to 2027, and $102,500 (about 133.97 million won) each from 2028 to 2029. “I’m grateful for everything, but I’m satisfied that I can make donations in between.”

With Lee Jung-hoo holding a big deal, the “friendly” Kiwoom Heroes will also be in the money seat. Kiwoom will receive $18.825 million (about 24.6 billion won) in transfer fees if Lee Jung-hoo does not exercise the “opt-out” and fulfills all six-year contracts with San Francisco. Kiwoom, which has produced numerous major leaguers including Park Byung-ho, Kang Jung-ho, and Kim Ha-sung through the “posting system,” will enter the big league stage until Lee Jung-hoo, holding more than 50 billion won in posting alone.

Lee Jung-hoo said, “Wouldn’t it be good?” about Kiwoom’s big money due to his posting. Lee Jung-hoo then reiterated, “I hope you spend more of that money for the players,” adding, “Of course, it’s enough now, but I hope you do more for the players.”

Young players, including Kim Ha-sung and Lee Jung-hoo, have entered the big league, which can be a motivation for juniors who grow up or learn from them. Lee was generous with advice. “I think that winning a big contract can help my friends and juniors who have similar years of experience to me develop their dreams about playing in the big league. I want to tell them that I should not settle down and work harder now because there are many outstanding players who are much more talented than me,” Lee said. “If I work harder, I will have more opportunities, so I hope I have a bigger goal.”

Lee also expressed his gratitude to Kiwoom fans. “Thank you so much for the past seven years. When I had free time in the U.S., I watched a video of the cheers and cheers sent by the fans when I entered the batter’s box in the last game of the home game. I was so thankful, and I will keep the cheers and cheers in mind and do my best in the U.S. as well. I hope you show me lots of support as I will do my best as I did in the Heroes. I will repay the fans with my great plays,” Lee said, clenching his fists.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *