‘Dawson $600k→Heysus $800k’ growth, how much will it be after ‘$1M’?

The Kiwoom Heroes have decided on two foreign players, leaving only the re-signing of Ariel Furado (27).

“We have signed a new foreign pitcher, left-hander Enmanuel De Jesus, for a total of $800,000 (approximately 1 billion won), including a $600,000 salary and $200,000 option,” Kiwoom said on Sunday.

De Jesus began his career in the United States, joining Boston as an international amateur in 2014. He spent the next nine seasons in the minors, compiling a 49-45 record with three saves and a 4.01 ERA in 178 games (749 1/3 innings) before making his major league debut this year with Miami, but was limited to two appearances (6 1/3 innings) and an 11.37 ERA.

Despite his lack of major league experience, Hassus has a wide variety of pitches, including a fastball, changeup, slider, sinker, and curve. His fastball has averaged 93.4 miles per hour (150.3 km/h) in the majors this year. That’s a competitive velocity for a lefty in the KBO, although you have to take into account that he hasn’t pitched many games and has pitched in relief.

Prior to the signing of Haysus, Kiwoom announced the re-signing of outfielder Ronnie Dawson. Dawson, who came to Kiwoom this year as a replacement for Edison Russell, doesn’t have much major league experience and was playing in the independent league when he joined Kiwoom, so Kiwoom was able to get him for a relatively low price of $85,000 (about $100 million).

Despite initially low expectations, Dawson quickly established himself as a key player in the team’s lineup, batting .303 (77-for-229) with three home runs, 29 RBIs, and an .852 OPS in 57 games, and his upbeat, positive personality quickly integrated into the team’s atmosphere. After entering contract negotiations, the team agreed to a total of $600,000 for Dawson.

After signing one foreign pitcher and one batter, Kiwoom will now focus on re-signing Ariel Furado. Hurado, who signed with Kiwoom for $1 million last November, has been a one-two punch in Kiwoom’s starting rotation this year alongside Ahn Woo-jin. With an 11-8 record and 2.65 ERA in 30 games (183⅔ innings), Hurado ranked fourth in the league in ERA, tied for ninth in wins, third in innings pitched, and tied for sixth in strikeouts.

Kiwoom has a lot to worry about with its current starting lineup. Ace Ahn Woo-jin is set to begin military service as a social worker after undergoing Tommy John surgery, and Choi Won-tae was traded during the season and left the team. Young pitchers Jang Jae-young, Kim Sun-ki, Joo Seung-woo, Kim Dong-kyu, Lee Myung-jong, and Kim Dong-hyuk will have to step into the starting rotation. Heisus has no KBO experience and is still a bit of a variable. He’ll need Hurado to take over the No. 1 role next year to anchor the starting staff.

Unsurprisingly, Kiwoom began full-scale contract negotiations with Furado immediately after the season ended. Currently, the contract is reportedly being finalized on a positive note. If Furado is also re-signed, Kiwoom will finish the year with one of its biggest challenges solved this winter.


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