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Hanwha Eagles Sign Free Agent Shortstop

Posted November. 09, 2005 03:02,   


Prefer a short-but-spectacular career? Sometimes going for a less exciting but longer-lasting one is also a good idea.

That is the option professional baseball player Kim Min-jae (32) chooses to live. Having earned free agent status after the season ended, Kim signed with the Hanwha Eagles from the SK Wyverns yesterday morning when his negotiations with his original team ended. He is the first free agent to switch teams this year.

He will receive 1.4 billion won over four years, including a signing bonus of 0.5 billion won, a total salary of 0.8 billion won, and another 0.1 billion won in performance incentives.

Kim, who made his debut with the Lotte Giants in 1991, has a career batting average of only .250 in his 15 years as a pro, with only 51 homeruns.

Nonetheless he is rated among the best shortstops in the league, with excellent defense and base running, despite his relatively weak bat.

Hanwha has never signed a free agent from another team since the system came into effect, but made a bold bet on Kim to strengthen its weak shortstop position.

Meanwhile, just before midnight on November 7, SK signed a deal with the second baseman Chung Kyung-bae (31) to a three year contract for a maximum of 1.6 billion won, including a 0.4 billion won signing bonus, 250 million won annual salary, and 115 million won a year in performance incentives.