SAN FRANCISCO GIANTS ANNOUNCE 6-YEAR DEAL WITH KBO STAR LEE JUNG-HOO

The San Francisco Giant's new Korean player, Lee Jung-hoo, is shown in this image captured from the San Francisco Giants' official X page, Dec. 15. Yonhap

Korean baseball star Lee Jung-hoo is now a member of the San Francisco Giants .The Giants announced their six-year, $113 million contract with Lee, the 2022 most valuable player (MVP) in the Korea Baseball Organization (KBO), on Thursday (U.S. local time). They finalized the deal, first reported Tuesday, after Lee passed his physical. The contract is the largest for a Korean player moving to Major League Baseball (MLB) through posting, easily topping the six-year, $36 million deal that pitcher Ryu Hyun-jin signed with the Los Angeles Dodgers in late 2012.The contract includes an opt-out after the 2027 season, meaning Lee, now 25, could become a free agent before turning 30.According to the Giants, Lee will earn $7 million in 2024, $16 million in 2025, $22 million in 2026, $22 million in 2027, $20.5 million in 2028 and $20.5 million in 2029.He will also receive a $5 million signing bonus. He has agreed to make a charitable contribution to the Giants Community Fund, with donations of $60,000 in 2024, $80,000 in 2025, $110,000 in 2026 and 2027, and $102,500 in 2028 and 2029.The 25-year-old outfielder will be formally introduced at a press conference at 1 p.m. Pacific Time Friday at Oracle Park in San Francisco, or 6 a.m. Saturday in Korea. Lee has been one of the best players in the KBO since bursting on to the scene with the then Nexen (currently Kiwoom) Heroes in 2017. He won the Rookie of the Year that season, after batting .324 and scoring 111 runs, third most in the league. Lee, a two-time batting champion, has a career .340 batting average, the highest mark in KBO history among all players with at least 3,000 plate appearances. Known for great bat-to-ball skills and outstanding plate discipline, Lee has drawn 383 walks and struck out just 304 times across 3,947 plate appearances in 884 games.

Lee missed most of the second half of this year due to an ankle injury but posted a solid .318/.406/.455 line in 86 games, with 23 strikeouts and 49 walks. He batted just .218 in April, the lowest monthly batting average of his career, before batting .305 in May, .374 in June and .435 in July. He missed all of August and September, and played his one final game on Oct. 10, when he grounded out in his lone plate appearance. Giants general manager Pete Putila was on hand for that game at Gocheok Sky Dome in Seoul, a clear indication of the team’s interest in the outfielder. Lee is the son of Lee Jong-beom, a veritable KBO legend who won the 1994 MVP award. They are so far the only father-son duo to have won MVP in the KBO. The junior Lee isn’t the burner that his father was. The senior Lee owns the single season steals record with 84 in 1994, while his son’s career high is 13 from 2019. Jung-hoo, however, gets good jumps in the outfield and has shown good instincts and athleticism on defense. The Giants cycled through 11 center fielders in 2023, with rookie Luis Matos leading the team with 57 games and 438 innings at the position. But he only ranked 170th among 174 players who appeared in center field in outs above average (OAA), which looks at how many outs a player has saved. Collectively, the Giants’ outfielders ranked 28th out of 30 MLB teams in OAA, and 22nd in defensive runs saved, which measures the number of runs a player saved or cost his team relative to an average player.

Those outfielders didn’t hit well, either. Matos batted .250/.319/.342 with two home runs and 14 RBIs in 76 games. Their center fielders had an on-base plus slugging of .666, putting them in 24th place in the majors .The Giants have enough outfielders, including big league veterans such as Mike Yastrzemski, Mitch Haniger, Michael Conforto and Austin Slater. All three have some experience in center field, but the Giants prefer them in the corner positions where they would avoid injuries and allow the Giants to keep their bats in the lineup .Under the agreement between the KBO and MLB, the Heroes will receive a release fee of $18.825 million for losing Lee through posting .Lee is the fourth Hero to jump to the majors via posting, following Kang Jung-ho (Pittsburgh Pirates), Park Byung-ho (Minnesota Twins) and Kim Ha-seong (San Diego Padres).Kang is out of baseball and Park is back in the KBO with the KT Wiz. Kim signed with the Padres before the 2021 season and won the National League Gold Glove at utility position this year. Both the Giants and the Padres play out of the National League West and Lee and Kim, two close friends and former teammates, will duke it out multiple 카지노사이트킹 times throughout the season

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