Hanwha Eagles, who have finished negotiating their annual salary, will board a flight to Australia with ease. They will start the spring camp as an elite member including two rookies.
Hanwha Eagles said on the 29th, “We will leave for Australia via Incheon International Airport (OZ6033) on the 30th and start the 2024 season spring camp from the 1st of next month.”
Hanwha’s team plans to hold the first camp in Melbourne, Australia, until the 20th of next month, then move to Okinawa, Japan, and hold the second camp focusing on practice games with domestic and foreign teams from the 22nd to March 4th.
A total of 58 players, including coach Choi Won-ho and senior coach Chung Kyung-bae, 15 coaching staff and 43 players, were on the list. By position, 22 pitchers, four catchers, 10 infielders and seven outfielders will participate.
Infielder An Chi-hong (4+2 years maximum KRW 7.2 billion), who joined Hanwha in the stove league as a free agent, and pitcher Jang Min-jae (2+1 years maximum KRW 800 million), an internal FA resource, as well as veteran Kim Kang-min, who joined the team in the second draft, and catcher Lee Jae-won, who Hanwha recruited after being released from SSG Landers.
Among the rookies, only left-handed pitcher Hwang Joon-seo and infielder Hwang Young-mook are included. Notably, Hwang is one of the 2024 Rookie of the Year candidates chosen by Moon Dong-ju, who won the Hanwha Rookie Award for the first time in 17 years since Ryu Hyun-jin in 2006. Another contender is Kim Seo-hyun, the No. 1 rookie last year. Kim Seo-hyun and Hwang Jun-seo, high school graduate who will remain eligible for the Rookie of the Year award by throwing only 22 ⅓s, are expected to stage fierce competition from the spring camp, including competition for positions.
The remaining seven rookies will head to the Futures (minor league) camp. Jung Yi-hwang, a 2019 rookie right fielder who played only for the Futures League last year and recorded seven no hits and no runs in June, will also be accompanied by the first team.
Hanwha, which escaped from last place for the first time in four years last year, is increasing its possibilities through joint growth of its younger players. This was also seen in the salary negotiations. The fourth batter, Noh Si-hwan, who won two times in batting, posted the highest increase of 219 million won (167,000 dollars) in his team, recording the highest increase of 350 million won (390,000 dollars), while Moon Dong-ju, the hero of last year’s Rookie of the Year award, will receive 100 million won (890,000 dollars) by boasting the highest increase rate of 203.03 percent (67 million won) from the lowest of 33 million won (390,000 dollars).
Moon Hyun-bin, who has jumped to the starting lineup in his second year, went up 166.67% to 80 million won, and Lee Do-yoon, who kept his position in the infield, signed up 120.59% (41 million won) to 75 million won. Pitchers Park Sang-won and Kim Bum-soo also rose 46.62% and 36.88%, respectively, to 195 million won and 193 million won, and Joo Hyun-sang, who recorded a one-run ERA in his third year as a pitcher, rose 89.66% from 58 million won to renew his contract at 110 million won and join the “100 million won club.”
Hanwha, which has increased the number of players with an annual salary of more than 100 million won to 11, plans to increase its power through soaking during the winter.
The first camp, which will be held in Melbourne, Australia until the 20th of next month, plans to play a training-oriented schedule to increase scoring by improving defense and diversifying offensive routes based on the guidance of senior coach Chung Kyung-bae, operation and baserunning coach Kim Jae-geol, outfield and first base coach Park Jae-sang, and defensive coach Kim Woo-seok, who joined from the final training in November last year.
After checking the training content and sense of practice through two practice matches with the Australian national team on the 17th and 18th, he will move to Okinawa, Japan, for the second camp from the 22nd of next month.
In the second camp, the Samsung Lions, who will set up camp in Okinawa from the beginning, as well as domestic teams such as KT Wiz and Lotte Giants, who are heading to Okinawa as the second camp site like Hanwha, will play a total of five practice games to enhance their sense of play and arrive at Incheon International Airport on March 4 to prepare for the exhibition game schedule.
In addition, the Hanwha Eagles Futures team, led by new Futures coach Lee Dae-jin, will depart for Japan on April 4 and hold spring camps in Kochi and Takamatsu until March 6. At the Futures League, rookie players including Jang Jin-hyuk, Kwon Gwang-min, Lee Won-seok and Euro Gyeol, who are seeking to make a leap forward to the main league, are sweating profusely.