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Koo Dae-sung Seems to be Going, but…

Posted December. 17, 2004 23:10,   


This stove league’s biggest issue is Koo Dae-sung’s jump to the New York Yankees and Lim Chang-yong’s overseas move.

Koo Dae-sung was believed to have signed with the Yankees on December 9, but no official announcements are being made until December 17. Lim Chang-yong turned to the Major Leagues when the new Japanese team Rakuten gave up on signing him on December 3, but this is only a rumor as of now. Exactly what is the truth?

Koo Dae-sung seems to have reached a basic agreement on becoming “the first Korean Yankee.” Koo Dae-sung, who is staying in New York with his wife Kwon Hyun-jung, is making inquiries on an apartment, car, and education for his children. He even received a physical examination on December 10.

However, his agent Douglas Jo’s announcement that “the Yankees has accepted all of our conditions, and all we need to do now is sign the contract,” does not seem to be true.

Koo Dae-sung was unable to meet with general manager Brian Cashman until December 15, and this day the expected announcement did not come out. Also, Cashman’s comment in an interview with New York’s regional newspaper, “Newsday,” that “negotiations have not even started yet,” is fueling the suspicions.

Regarding this, Douglas Jo is only repeating the comment that the deal has been made. It is the Yankees’ custom to refrain from making any announcements until both sides finally sign the contract, but still there are arguments that the reason for the delay in the announcement is due to problems in the negotiation process.

Lim Chang-yong is raising more suspicions. Antonio Nam, Lim’s agent, acted as if several teams are fighting over him, saying, “Lim Chang-yong is receiving calls not only from Boston and Anaheim, but also from the Yankees, Minnesota, and Atlanta.”

However, baseball experts in Korea are doubtful whether Lim Chang-yong would be able to receive more than his current annual salary of 500 million won if he goes to the Major Leagues. Some are even saying that he is not wanted by any team.

Thus, the conclusion is that the problem lies in the agents’ tendency to exaggerate certain facts. This is why when Lee Sang-hoon (who joined the Boston Red Sox in 2000), LG’s Jin Pil-joong, Chiba Lotte Marines’ Lee Seung-yup, and Samsung’s Shim Jung-soo attempted to enter the Major Leagues, the number of interested teams or the conditions were more exaggerated than the actual reality.

Hwan Soo Zang zangpabo@donga.com