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Lee`s Annual Salary for Major League May be $ 3 Million

Posted September. 23, 2003 23:16,   


`Annual Salary of $3 Million for 3 Years of Term.`

Now we know the value of `National Batter` Lee Seung-yeop(27) who is entering the Major League as his contract with Samsung terminates this season. His agent company SFX has been proposing detailed conditions to Major League teams that have shown interest in scouting Lee. It is the first time that Lee`s demanded salary is known to the public.

Baseball teams, which have dispatched scout teams to check out Lee this year, include 6 teams; LA-Dodgers, Seattle Mariners, Atlanta Braves, Minnesota Twins, San Diego Padres, and Boston Red Sox.

Lee suggested 3-year contract in 1.5millioin dollars a year to one of those teams and 3million dollars a year to another team. It is SFX`s strategy to suggest such differing levels of salary.

It has demanded high price to teams that urgently need a slugger, while suggesting relatively low price to those who are not so urgent.

Major League teams have not shown substantial responses to SFX`s suggestion. It is because even if a player is soon going to become FA (free of contract), it is forbidden to do tampering with prior contacts. Thus, scouting will begins actively from the end of October when the current season ends. Each teams are, however, busy coming up with right numbers.

LA-Dodgers and Seattle is known to be the most anxious teams to attract Lee. In case of LA-Dodgers, whose vice president Tomy Lasorda recently visited Daegu Stadium himself, its first base player Fred McGriff will retire after this season. As it exhibited the worst striking power this season, it urgently needs a slugger.

Another merit is that as there are around 600,000 Koreans living in LA, by scouting Lee, income from admission charge will be enough to cover the cost. Also in LA, Lee can adjust to the new environment easily as there are many Korean-Americans there. The fact that his agent John Kim moved from Chicago to LA last month makes people predict whether it was a move preparing for Lee joining LA Dodgers.

Seattle also needs a slugger as its current slugger John Olerud turns FA after this season. Seattle already enjoyed good results after scouting some Asian players such as Ichirowa Sasaki and Hasegawa. Choo Sin-soo and Baek Cha-seung are also playing in a Minor Leagu team that is under Seattle Mariners. It is one of the teams that show greatest interest in scouting Lee along with LA Dodgers.

Major League scouts say that Lee is no better than Hideki Matsui of New York Yankees who signed for 2.1million dollars for 3 years of term.

One scout said, “We do not sign contract with terms like how much annual salary for a year and stuff. We can sign it in a way that says that the salary will increase gradually including some incentives. Still, annual salary of over 1.5million dollars is too high.”

There will be some negotiations from the end of October. Yet, considering SFX`s demand and Major League`s response to it, Lee`s salary is estimated to be around 5million dollars (around 6billion won) for 3 years of time, including signing bonus, incentive, and annual salary.

Meanwhile, SFX is known to have set around 1 million dollars for Sim Jung-soo from Hyundai, who is also seeking for a chance to go to the Major League

Sang-Soo Kim ssoo@donga.com