It is becoming more and more likely that Lee Seung-yeop (29) will stay with Lotte Marines of Japanese Pro Baseball.
The only thing left is the contract term.
Facing a bargaining deadline set on December 15, Lee Seung-yeop, who went to Hawaii on a team trip, held negotiations on December 14 with Setoyama, the representative from Lotte. The conclusion seems to be that he will stay.
Sports Hochi reported on December 15, Lee Seung-yeops staying appears to be certain. Hochi also added Setoyamas remark, we offered the best deal we can come up with.
The special condition Lotte offered was the contract term. It means they will let Lee decide on his own contract period whether it be one year, two years, or even longer. Lees annual salary is likely to remain the same at 200 million yen.
On the other hand, the club did not yield on the guarantee of the defense position that Lee wanted as a top priority in his next contract. But they agreed to have him play more away games, which was another of Lees demands. Lee ended up playing 117 games out of total 136 this year due to Bobby Valentines strategy to have Lee avoid lefty pitchers.
Since no other clubs are offering deals more lucrative than Lotte as of now, it is unlikely that Lee Seung-yeop will decline Lottes proposal.
Also, being able to name his own term is quite a positive angle when considering his future course. Lees ultimate goal is to make it to the U.S. major leagues. If Lee is thinking about going to the major leagues a year from now, he could sign a one year contract; or, if he is looking for some stability, he could sign a contract for two or more years.