Kim Min-sik (35), who declared an FA, will continue to accompany his former team SSG Landers.
SSG officially announced on the 16th that it has signed a two-year FA contract with catcher Kim Min-sik for a total of 500 million won (400 million won per year, 100 million won in options).
The reason was that the catcher’s competitiveness and depth were strengthened. The position that faced the most changes in SSG this winter was the home ground where Kim Min-sik was. Debs became significantly thinner as Kim Min-sik and Lee Jae-won (36, Hanwha Eagles), who played as the main and backup of the first division, declared FA, respectively, and were notified that they could not renew their contracts.
Cho Hyung-woo (22), who has been training as a next-generation homebody, was waiting for him, but he cannot afford to give up his competition to win the title in the last season of Choo Shin-soo (42). Therefore, SSG drafted Park Dae-on (29) and Shin Bum-soo (26) from the NC Dinos and KIA Tigers in the second draft of the KBO in December last year, respectively.
Still, he needed an experienced catcher as a starting pitcher, and Kim Min-sik was an option for SSG. However, the gap between the two sides was too wide. Kim Min-sik, who rejected the multi-year contract proposed by SSG after the end of the 2022 season, wanted the size of the contract, and SSG, which already had young catchers to nurture, had a little more leeway.
In the end, SSG had discussions with Lee Ji-young (38), who had been inquiring about the deal for a prolonged period of time. It signed a two-year FA contract with Lee Ji-young under the condition that he hand over the rights to select the third round player and 250 million won in cash to the Kiwoom Heroes.
Despite this, SSG did not completely close the negotiation channel with Kim Min-sik. “It will certainly be different from the conditions that Kim Min-sik recently proposed,” SSG General Manager Kim Jae-hyun told Star News right after recruiting Lee Ji-young. “However, we have yet to rule out recruiting Kim Min-sik.”
It has not changed that Kim Min-sik is still a player who will play in the first division. Kim Min-sik, who graduated from Yangdeok Elementary School, Masan Middle School, Masan High School, and Wonkwang University, joined the SK Wyverns (currently SSG Landers) as the 11th overall pick in the second round of the KBO Rookie Draft in 2012. He moved to KIA Tigers in 2017 and helped the team win the unified championship, and returned to SSG, his former team, in 2022, to lead the team to win the “Wire to Wire” in the regular season and the Korean Series. He played in 821 games during his nine seasons, recording a batting average of 0.227, 24 home runs, 214 RBIs, and an on-base percentage of 0.302 slugging percentage of 0.316, and his stolen base blocking percentage was 0.285.
Kim Min-sik, who signed the contract, said, “I am happy to continue my career in the friendly team. I will become a player who will work harder to help SSG rise to the top once again.”