Lee Ji-young Worked Well for 5 Years and even Received the Right to be Nominated as a Rookie

The winner of the KBO’s first triangle trade was Kiwoom. They signed and traded catcher Lee Ji-young (38)

who had served well as the starting catcher for five years, to SSG and even received the right to be drafted as a rookie.

On the 12th, Kiwoom sent free agent catcher Lee Ji-young to SSG. Lee Ji-young, who signed a free agent contract for a total of 400 million won for two years (annual salary 350 million won

option 50 million won), was handed over to SSG in exchange for a 3rd round pick in the 2025 rookie draft and 250 million won in cash.

The contract negotiation entity was SSG, which spent a total of 650 million won and a third-round pick to recruit Lee Ji-young. 토토사이트

With this, Kiwoom and Lee Ji-young ended their five-year association since 2019. On December 7, 2018, Kiwoom recruited Lee Ji-young in a triangular trade with Samsung and SK (now SSG).

The conditions are that Kiwoom sends outfielder Ko Jong-wook to SK, SK sends outfielder Kim Dong-yeop to Samsung, and Samsung sends Lee Ji-young to Kiwoom.

It became a hot topic as the league’s first triangular trade that matched the needs of three teams.

At the time, Kiwoom’s starting catcher Park Dong-won had been suspended from participation by the KBO since May 2018 due to an unpleasant incident.

In a situation where catcher reinforcement was needed, free agent Kang Min-ho targeted Lee Ji-young

who had been pushed to the backup role after coming to Samsung.

In February 2019, Park Dong-won was found not guilty in a related case and returned

but he shared the home screen with Lee Ji-young.

In the first year of his transfer in 2019, Lee Ji-young maintained his home base with a stable defense

recording a batting average of .282 (87 hits in 308 at-bats), 1 home run, 39 RBI, and an OPS of .632 in 106 games.

After contributing to Kiwoom’s runner-up finish in the Korean Series, he signed a three-year

1.8 billion won free agent contract renewal. After signing a free agent contract, he played 427 games for Kiwoom

the third most games for four years, and recorded a batting average of .275 (311 hits in 1,132 at-bats), 2 home runs, 112 RBIs, and an OPS of .646.

Among the 18 catchers who fielded more than 1,000 innings during this period

he ranked at least 5th in wild pitches and foils per 9 innings (0.4), and his stolen base blocking percentage also exceeded .300, ranking 10th (30.2%).

For a catcher, he reliably protected Kiwoom’s home defense with good hitting and stable defense. Until 2021

he wore a catcher’s mask at a similar rate to Park Dong-won, and after Park Dong-won was traded to KIA in April 2022, Lee Ji-young’s proportion increased.

Lee Ji-young, who led Kiwoom to a runner-up finish in the Korean Series as a full-time starter in 2022

signed a general contract after the end of her free agent contract and her annual salary increased significantly from 300 million won to 500 million won. Although he was a reserve free agent premium, he was recognized for his performance.

It was also possible because of Lee Ji-young that Kiwoom was able to boldly use ‘prospective free agent’ Park Dong-won as a trade card.

Kiwoom gave away Park Dong-won and received infielder Kim Tae-jin and a 2023 rookie second-round pick (12th overall) for 1 billion won in cash.

Catcher Kim Dong-heon, selected with this nomination, made a successful debut last year and rose to become the starting catcher in the second half of the year. Lee Ji-young

who gave up his position to Kim Dong-heon due to Kiwoom’s rebuilding policy, made a fresh start at SSG

but left with the right to pick through a sign-and-trade. 28th overall pick in the 3rd round. I am curious what future value Kiwoom will choose.

On the other hand, Ko Jong-wook, who went from Kiwoom to SK, left the team after three years. In the first year of 2019

he played in 137 games with a batting average of .323 3/3 (159 hits in 492 at-bats), 3 home runs, 56 RBI, 31 stolen bases, and an OPS of .768, but in 2020

he had a batting average of .208 3/3 (77 hits in 272 at-bats), 3 home runs, and 26 RBI. OPS .690, 2021 batting average in 88 games, 2.67 leagues (48 hits in 180 at-bats)

2 home runs, 18 RBIs, OPS .651. He was released after the 2021 season amid declining batting production.

SSG tried to balance the team by bringing in Ko Jong-wook, a sophisticated and fast hitter

due to the team composition with many long hitters, but they only had fun in 2019.

Ko Jong-wook, who was released from SSG, has gone through a tryout test and is continuing his career as a player at KIA starting in 2022.

Although he is not a full-time starter, he has solidified his position as a strong pinch hitter. Last year

he played in 60 games as a starting pitcher and increased his importance. In 114 games last year

he had a batting average of .296 (80 hits in 270 at-bats), 3 home runs, 39 RBIs, and an OPS of .722. He also won a two-year

500 million won free agent contract. It was unfortunate that he was released from SSG

but he succeeded in turning things around at KIA.

The most disappointing player after the triangle trade is Kim Dong-yeop. To capitalize on the hitter-friendly home stadium ‘Lapak’ effect

Samsung ambitiously brought in Kim Dong-yup, who hit 22 home runs and 27 home runs at SK in 2017 and 2018.

However, only in 2020 did he meet expectations with 20 home runs, and the remaining four seasons only reached single digits with 6 being the most.

Without being able to establish a single hitting form, he repeatedly hit with many ups and downs.

Kim Dong-yeop’s five-year performance after transferring to Samsung was 343 games with a batting average of 2.64 ERA (278 hits in 1,053 at-bats)

37 home runs, 145 RBIs, and an OPS of .727. Last year, he did not produce outstanding results with a batting average of .255 (42 hits in 165 at-bats)

5 home runs, 18 RBIs, and an OPS of .701 in 69 games. Kim Dong-yeop, whose defensive contribution is low due to his weakness in throwing

must try to win the game with his batting, but things are not going his way. In the meantime

he turned 34 years old. It remains to be seen whether Kim Dong-yup, the only player remaining on the team among the triangle traded players, can bring about a final twist.

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