A Doosan Bears official, who met at Jamsil Stadium in Seoul on the 23rd, announced the departure of the rabbit crackdown project, saying, Both Yang Seok-hwan and Hong Geon-hee plan to start negotiations in earnest next week. 사설토토
Doosan, whose main first baseman Yang Seok-hwan and pitching assistant Hong Geon-hee have qualified as FA side by side, is keeping the stove league busy focusing on the two players’ remaining. We have already met with Yang Seok-hwan once, and we plan to set up a negotiation table in earnest next week to share each other’s positions. A club official said that Hong Gun-hee also set the size of the contract suitable for the player’s level.
Yang Seok-hwan and Hong Gun-hee were listed as new A-class alongside the 2024 FA Free Agent approved list announced by the KBO Korea Baseball Organization on the 18th. The two players, who were announced as FA qualifiers in 2024 on the 15th, applied to KBO for approval to exercise FA rights and were evaluated by the market for the first time since their debut.
Coincidentally, both Yang Seok-hwan and Hong Gun-hee have qualified as FA after making career turning points through trades. Yang Seok-hwan is further being evaluated as the biggest fish in the FA market.
Yang Seok-hwan, who moved his nest from LG to Doosan in a 2-2 trade in March 2021. For him, the transfer to Doosan became a great move. He took charge of the Bears’ fifth first baseman and earned the title Trade Lucky from his first season. He hit 273 with 28 home runs and 96 RBIs in 133 games in the 2021 season, erasing the team’s concerns as a first baseman and contributing to the KBO League’s first seven consecutive years of advancing to the Korean Series.
Unlike the first year, last year was a series of disappointments. From the beginning of the season, chronic intraperitoneal injuries recurred, and even after returning in May, he suffered from aftereffects and finished the season with a poor performance of 20 home runs and 51 RBIs in 107 games.
Yang Seok-hwan served as Doosan’s home run hitter with Lee Seung-yeop’s appointment this year. He has a batting average of 281 with 21 homers and 89 RBIs in 140 games.He ranked fifth in the home run category with 454 destructive power. Yang Seok-hwan is a high-quality right-handed catcher who has hit 20 home runs 28-20-21 for three consecutive years, and is a very attractive card for clubs that need reinforcement of first baseman and center hitter.
Prior to this, Hong Gun-hee transferred from KIA to Doosan in June 2020 through a one-on-one trade with Ryu Ji-hyuk. Even though he had a fastball in KIA, he continued to wander due to difficulties in controlling the ball, but was reborn as a league-class backdoor agent by vigorously spraying the fastball that was controlled along with the trade.
It is no exaggeration to say that life has changed drastically through trade. Hong Gun-hee, who worked 347 innings for about 10 years from his professional debut in 2011 until the trade, achieved 254 ⅔ in just four seasons after moving to Doosan. Starting with 68 ⅔ in the 2020 season, he played 74 ⅓ in 2021, 62 in 2022, and 61 ⅔ this year to secure the back door of Doosan. During this period, he earned 12 wins, 44 saves, and 39 holds.
This year, he was in charge of closing Lee Seung-yeop’s closing position, and gave way to Jung Chul-won at the end, but he revealed his outlook for the stove league with a record of 1 win, 5 losses, 22 saves, and a 3.06 ERA in 64 games. Hong Gun-hee also served as Doosan’s pitching captain for three consecutive years since 2021.
Yang Seok-hwan and Hong Geon-hee are essential resources for Doosan, which aims to rank fifth or higher next season. Doosan is the most vulnerable position in the first base and the must-win group, and since both players played key roles on and off the ground since the trade, it is essential to remain for their performance. Doosan also recognizes the importance of the two players and plans to make all efforts to crack down on the rabbit starting next week.
However, Doosan has recently signed a series of large-scale contracts including Kim Jae-hwan 11.5 billion won, Jung Soo-bin 5.6 billion won, Heo Kyung-min 8.5 billion won, and Yang Eui-ji 15.2 billion won. I can’t help but be conscious of the salary cap, so if the market atmosphere for the two players overheats, I can’t afford to invest big money like last year. A Doosan official said, We will do our best to catch both Yang Seok-hwan and Hong Geon-hee, but showed a cautious attitude, saying, There is a baseline that we have set.
The head coach has also asked the front desk of the club to catch the two players. Coach Lee Seung-yeop set his goal for next season at least third place, saying, With the start of the stove league, there are many teams that have strengthened their power. In our team, Yang Seok-hwan and Hong Gun-hee applied for FA, but I think both players will remain in Doosan. I expect good negotiations, he said, wishing for a crackdown on rabbits.