A game between the Samsung Lions and the Kiwoom Heroes of the 2023 KBO League at Gocheok Sky Dome in Seoul on Oct. 10.

In the stands was San Francisco Giants general manager Pete Puttler.

He was there to watch the farewell game of Lee Jung-hoo (25), who decided to move to the United States after the season.

Lee only had one at-bat in his rehabilitation from ankle surgery, but it was enough for the Giants.

San Francisco actively courted Lee, and eventually landed him.
On the 13th (KST), local media outlets such as the New York Post and The Athletic cited sources as saying, “Lee Jung-hoo is going to San Francisco.

The contract is for six years and $113 million (14.84 billion won – an average of $18.83 million per year), including an opt-out clause after four years.”

Lee declared himself a major leaguer before the season and filed for postseason posting (sealed competitive bidding).

He had until Jan. 4 of next year to negotiate with all major league teams.

Pending medical tests, the Giants and Lee won’t make an official announcement until the afternoon of the 13th.
In terms of contract value alone, the deal is the highest for an Asian-born player to reach the major leagues via post.

The previous record was held by Japanese outfielder Masataka Yoshida, who signed a five-year, $90 million deal ($18 million per year average) with the Boston Red Sox in 2022.

For pitchers, Masahiro Tanaka, who signed a seven-year, $155 million deal with the New York Yankees in 2014, is the next highest.

In terms of Korean players, it surpasses the contracts of Ryu Hyun-jin (six years, $36 million, Los Angeles Dodgers, 2013) and Kim Ha-seong (four years, $28 million, San Diego Padres, 2021).

“The size of the contract suggests that San Francisco intends to use Lee as their starting outfielder regardless of whether he can adjust to the league early in the season,” said SPOTV commentator Lee Chang-seop.
The son of “Son of the Wind” Lee Jong-beom and former LG Twins coach Lee Jong-hoo, Lee batted .

340 with a .407 on-base percentage, .491 slugging percentage, 65 home runs, 515 RBIs, 69 doubles, and 581 runs scored in seven seasons, including becoming the first father and son to be named KBO Most Valuable Player (MVP) in 2022.

His best attribute is his ability to make contact with the bat, so he rarely strikes out. In seven seasons, Lee has struck out only 383 times in 3,947 at-bats.

According to ESPN, “San Francisco believes the 25-year-old has the talent to make the Major League Baseball All-Star team.



The best-case scenario for the Giants is that unlike Kim, who struggled in his first two seasons in the big leagues before rebounding this year in his third year, Lee quickly adjusts to the big leagues, posting an above-average on-base percentage and a batting average near .300.”
Right now, San Francisco doesn’t have a clear-cut center fielder.

Luis Matos started 76 games in center field this season, the most on the team, but he hit just .250 with two home runs and 14 RBIs. 먹튀검증

That’s why San Francisco manager Bob Melvin said after the season, “We need a center fielder.”

The Giants, who are in the National League West with the Los Angeles Dodgers and San Diego, have missed the postseason for two years in a row (they finished fourth in the division this season) and need to bolster their lineup.

Shohei Ohtani recently signed with the Dodgers, and Lee Jung-hoo will be batting alongside Kim Ha-seong and Ohtani.
Following Kang Jeong-ho (retired), Park Byung-ho (KT Wiz), and Kim Ha-seong, Lee will be the fourth player to reach the major leagues through the post system, giving the Heroes a substantial transfer fee.

According to the Korea-USA Player Contract Agreement, Kiwoom is expected to receive around $18.85 million (24.7 billion won) in compensation.

While not as much as Ryu Hyun-jin ($25,737.33) due to the revised posting system in 2018, it is still the highest amount for a Korean player.

The Heroes previously sent Kang Jeong-ho ($5.15 million), Park Byung-ho ($12.85 million), and Kim Ha-seong ($5.52 million) to the big leagues and received a total of $23.37 million in compensation.

This brings their total to $42.15 million (55.7 billion won).
As for the Heroes, infielder Kim Hye-sung has also announced that he will enter the major leagues after next season.

Lee Jung-hoo’s biggest legacy to the Heroes will be a dream, just like Kang Jeong-ho, Park Byung-ho, and Kim Ha-seong before him.

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