Go to contents

Doosan to Cut Offers to Star Players

Posted January. 08, 2008 08:16,   


The pro baseball team Doosan Bears will cut the high salaries of its star players.

Doosan canceled Monday its four-year offer to free agent slugger Kim Dong-ju, which would have been worth 6.2 billion won, a record high in domestic baseball.

The Bears also froze its offer to former San Francisco Giants pitcher Kim Sun-woo at 1.5 billion won, which is what former New York Mets pitcher Seo Jae-weong will get from the Kia Tigers.

The move to lower player salaries came after the Korea Baseball Organization last year announced the launch of a team in Seoul sponsored by KT. The telecom giant will pay a franchise entrance fee of six billion won.

Doosan: KT Should Pay More

Doosan was reportedly enraged to have KT based in Seoul and over its low entry cost. While acknowledging the need to have eight teams in the league, Bears management said that if KT forms a new team instead of buying the financially troubled Hyundai Unicorns, the company must pay appropriate salaries to their players and for being based in Seoul.

Doosan Chairman Kim Jin said, “Doosan goes more than 10 billion won in the red each year to maintain the team. We stand against KT’s entry if it does not pay the proper costs.”

Some within Doosan, however, are known to have proposed a halt of couple of years to the Bears’ operations to pay off long-standing debts.

A heated debate is expected in at the baseball organization’s board meeting Wednesday.

Doosan Offers Lower Salary

Since Kim Dong-ju failed to respond to Doosan’s record-breaking deal last November, the team said it will reconsider the contract.

The Bears are expected to offer Kim less than six billion won for four years, which was what Shim Jeong-su of the Samsung Lions received.

Kim said, “I can consider a new contract, but I still haven’t given up going to Japan.” The slugger left for Japan Monday for talks with the Yokohama BayStars.

Doosan General Manager Kim Tae-ryong said re-signing Kim is now difficult, saying, “We got no response from Kim even though we gave him enough time to consider the contract. It seems he is more interested in going to Japan.”

On pitcher Kim Sun-woo, Doosan made it clear that an annual salary of 1.5 billion won is the most it can offer him.

A Doosan source said, “The time now is different from when we offered Kim Sun-woo four billion won for two years last year. We have no intention to stretch our budget to get him.”

Catcher Hong Seong-heun, who has requested a trade, has a salary so big (310 million won last year) that no other team has bid for him.

The burst in the bubble of player salaries looks to lead an overall restructuring of the pay scale in the Korean baseball league.