Even excluding the non-FA 5-year 9 billion won contract with Park Se-woong, he invested a whopping 17 billion won in three outside free agents. This is something that never happened even during the days of director Jerry Royster, who stimulates the nostalgia of Lotte fans.
As Lotte signed a 3+1 year 4 billion won contract with FA Han Hyun-hee, it became the final winner of the 2022-2023 offseason. Yang Eui-ji (Doosan), 파라오카지노 who has risen to the top of the FA conglomerate with a 15.2 billion won contract in 4+2, and Doosan, the winner of the Yang Eui-ji recruitment match, are the top three winners this winter.
As soon as the FA market opened, Lotte signed catcher Yoo Gang-nam for 4 years and 8 billion won, and shortstop Noh Jin-hyeok for 5 billion won for 4 years, respectively. A catcher with good framing and durability, a player who played as a third baseman in NC last year, but originally kept the left center infield soundly. The Lotte center line, which has been considered a weakness for many years, has been significantly strengthened.
In addition, a 30-year-old fastball sidearm starting pitcher was recruited to improve the structure of the starting team. Considering that the pitcher is also a position included in the center line, Lotte’s power reinforcement this winter has both splendor and practicality. In addition, pitchers Cha Woo-chan, Kim Sang-soo, Shin Jeong-rak, Yoon Myung-jun, catcher Lee Jung-hoon, and outfielder Ahn Kwon-soo recruited a large number of releaseees to strengthen their depth.
Director Larry Sutton embraced an unprecedented gift package. In the final season of his contract, he was given the responsibility of going to the top 5 unconditionally. Lotte has never been to the postseason except for 2017. Over the past 2-3 years, he has been in charge of the 1st and 2nd teams of Lotte, and has sufficiently grasped the team. There are no excuses this season.
Looking back, I wonder if foreign coaches in the previous KBO leagues have ever received gifts of this magnitude during the offseason. Former coach Jerry Royster, who left the most successful career with former SK coach Trey Hillman, did not receive such a gift.
In fact, from 2008 to 2010, when former coach Royster was in office, Lotte’s free agency was simple. In 2008, when he took office, there were no free agent gifts. There was no internal FA. In the 2008-2009 FA market, Hong Seong-heun was recruited for 279 million won a year. Of course, multi-year contracts were virtually banned at the time, and it seems that there was actually a rich agreement. In addition, Son Min-han was caught for 1.5 billion won a year. Since then, it has been far from 17 billion won. In the 2009-2010 free agent market, all he did was catch Choi Ki-moon for 150 million won a year.
It is difficult to simply compare 13 to 15 years ago and now. There was also an aspect of going to the postseason all three years with a splendid lineup such as Lee Dae-ho, Cho Seong-hwan, Hong Seong-heun, and Karim Garcia when he was former manager of Royster. However, it is true that Sutton received the FA gift hotter than any other foreign coaches, including former coach Royster.
This season is a golden opportunity for manager Sutton to perfect his baseball. The future of Lotte, which starts over with new players, also depends on how Sutton puts the first button together this year.