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Koo Signs a One-Year Contract with the Mets

Posted January. 09, 2005 22:51,   


The 36-year-old Korean lefty Koo Dae-Sung became a New York Met player, not a Yankee.

The Mets officially announced on the 9th to agree to a one-year contract with Koo. The condition, which Koo’s agent clarified, summed up to 1 million and 275,000 dollars (nearly 1.33 billion won) with addition of contract fee and annual salary. If Koo makes a good mark this year, with the team extending the contract with a side option, Koo`s salary will jump up to $2 million.

In the spot to sign on the contract sheet, the son of Mets owner Jeff Willphon and the team manager Omar Minaya shared the moment and Koo`s wife Kwon Hyun-Jung (35) and Douglas Jo (Korean name: Jo Dong-Yoon) participated for the ceremony.

Koo commented, "Today (United States time: Jan.8) is our 10th year wedding anniversary, and I gave her a beautiful present. I`m so excited to play in the Major League," and added, "It was the Yankees to which I was first headed, but Mets was another good option. I present no regret nor any lingering attachment to the Yankees." General manager Minaya commented, " Koo is a versatile player who could start or pitch from the bullpen." and expressed expectations.

As for this, Koo became the 10th player to step in the Major League field after the very first set by Park Chan-ho (Texas Rangers) of 1994 and declared to be the 2nd player after Lee Sang-hoon (retired) to extend the career over each league in Korea, Japan and the United States.

The Mets, who possess another Korean player, launched in 1962 and notched 2 World Series championships in 1969 and 1989. While the Yankees holds more white-collar fans as it uses the Shea stadium as its Home stadium, the Mets draws better attractions for blue-collar fans.

The Mets, who struggled last year with a 71-win, 91-loss record, 4th place in the National league East conference, is enthusiastically investing by bringing in Boston ace Pedro Martinez from the Stove league, et cetera. Koo is viewed to take the reliever role usually handling left-handed batters.

Koo will have a press conference in Saint Louis, Florida, which is the spring camp for the Mets, on the 11th and return home after a 4-day mini camp.

Sang-Soo Kim ssoo@donga.com