When will LG’s ‘championship manager’ Cha Myung-seok’s final assignment be over?
LG had a busy time last year, winning its first Korean Series title in 29 years. The team celebrated with a victory party and award ceremony. After a dreamlike time, they were busy preparing for the new season. We finished signing foreign players early, and our free agent signings went relatively quickly. The year 2024 has begun, and only one last thing remains. Free agent Kim Min-seong (35) is still under contract.
LG finalized contracts with free agents Oh Ji-hwan, Im Chan-gyu, and Ham Deok-ju in December. Kim Min-seong’s contract remains to be finalized.
“We told them (Kim) the terms of the contract, and we’re waiting for an answer,” Cha Myung-seok said, adding, “They said they would give us an answer, but they haven’t.” LG has presented an offer, and it’s up to Kim to decide.
Kim was a backup last year but performed as well as a starter.
In 112 games, 안전놀이터 he batted .244 with eight doubles, eight home runs, 41 RBIs, 34 runs scored, and a .703 OPS. His defensive contributions were as significant as his offensive ups and downs.
Kim played 105⅔ innings at first base, 280 innings at second base, 135 innings at third base, and 145 innings at shortstop. He was the salt of the earth in all four infield positions. He was literally a “super utility” player.
After playing primarily as a backup third baseman until last year, Kim trained in spring training to cover first and second base, but in April, he was sidelined by a side injury to star shortstop Oh Ji-hwan. With no backup shortstop, Kim Min-sung was called up to play shortstop. On September 6, 2017 against KT, Kim Min-sung made his first shortstop appearance in the starting lineup in six years and filled in well for Oh Ji-hwan.
He played more games than expected in the first half of the season, even playing shortstop, before suffering a thigh injury in July. He returned to action after a month of rehabilitation, and was the starting third baseman at the Hangzhou Asian Games in September in the absence of Moon Bo-kyung, who was playing for the national team. Kim joined Lotte in 2007 and won his first Korean Series title in his 17th year.
Kim is a backup again this year.
He may have a smaller spot than last year. The infield has a lot of younger faces. Koo Bon-hyuk, who has a good defense, returned from the army, and prospect Lee Young-bin will be discharged in May. There’s also Son Ho-young and Kim Ju-sung. Jung Ju-hyun has retired, but the backup spot is highly competitive. LG’s offer to Kim Min-sung is not a long contract, and it doesn’t come with a lot of money.
Kim is a second-year free agent. He is a Class B player. If another team picks him up, they will have to compensate the original club for 25 protected players, compensation players, and 100% of the previous year’s salary or 200% of the previous year’s salary. There are no other teams interested in Kim Min-sung.
Meanwhile, Oh Oh-hwan, who had already agreed to a six-year, up to 12.4 billion won multi-year contract in January 2023, signed a free agent contract for a total of 6 years and 12.4 billion won (5 billion won in down payment, 5 billion won in salary, and 2.4 billion won in incentives).
Im Chan-gyu signed a four-year, 5 billion won contract (6 million won down payment, 2 billion won annual salary, and 2.4 billion won in incentives) and Ham Deok-ju signed a four-year, 3.8 billion won contract (6 million won down payment, 1.4 billion won annual salary, 파워볼게임 and 1.8 billion won in incentives). Both players have nearly 50 percent options on their contracts. LG has put in place stabilizing measures such as injuries that come with big contracts.