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"There Can Only Be One King"

Posted January. 30, 2003 22:19,   


The Free Agent (FA) player, Park Kyung-Wan of SK Wyverns has received contract of 10 billion won with an annual salary of 3 billion won. Song Jin-Woo of Hanhwa Eagles has received a contract of 9 billion won with an annual salary of 3 billion won. The price of prominent players was around 6 billion won. But now, Lee Sang-hoon has exceeded 6 billion won with his annual salary alone.

LG Twins has decided on the new contract for Lee due to his excellent performance so far almost like his past prominent years and his contribution in the Twins` advance in the Korean Baseball Series. Also he is the only current domestic player in Korea to experience the Japanese and American baseball league. Without his foreign experiences he would have been a FA by now.

In last year, he was a month and half late in participating in the season and began his first game on May 18th, in the LG vs. Kia game. However he scored seven relief pitcher victories (two losses), eighteen saves, average earned run of 1.68 and became the season`s top 4th ranking relief pitcher.

The Samsung Lions team is shocked by this new contract. They`ve expected Lee`s salary to be around 5 billion won so they planed to offer 6 billion to Lee Sung-yup, who handover the negotiation deal to the team and left for the Hawaii training camp. But now that LG had broken the 6 billion barriers, they are now in dilemma.

“Last year, the Hanhwa had paid 4 billion to Jung min-chul. This year the Hyundai has paid 5 billion to Jung Min-tae and now LG has paid 6 billion to Lee Sang-hoon. They are leading salary inflation,” complains the Samsung teams` Head, Kim Jae-ha.

Due to new development, the Samsung has opened a countermeasure meeting and decided to finalize the Lee`s contract on the 3rd, after the Lunar New Year holidays.

Hwan-Soo Zang zangpabo@donga.com