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SK Song Eun-beom and Park Jae-sang See 119% Salary Rise

Posted January. 09, 2008 08:18,   


A ‘100 percent salary increase’ is a dream for employees. This is, however, possible in the professional sports world.

Prior to the next season, the Korean pro-baseball teams are finalizing deals with their players. Who will be the luckiest to enjoy the highest salary increase?

The rate of salary increase is an indicator that shows players performance and their contribution to the team in the last season. Using their player evaluation system, each team decides salary increase rate by considering players’ position, role and other variables. Depending on the team’s salary criteria and whether one is a starting, middle relief or finishing pitcher, each pitcher will be offered with a different increase rate even though they play the same position.

As of Jan. 8, LG is the only team among the eight which has finalized annual salary contract with their players. Other than Doosan Bears and Hyundai Unicorns, all professional basketball teams completed this year’s salary contract with their players. However, 10 players are yet to sign the contract.

The players who gained the highest salary increase so far are SK Wyverns Song Eun-beom and Park Jae-sang. According to a renewed contract, they will receive 70 million won this year compared to 32 million won last year, up by 118.8 percent.

After debut, Song Eun-beom posted ameliorated performance each season. Participating in 24 games, he won six games and lost three with two ties and a career ERA of 3.01. Park Jae-sang, along with Joe Dong-hwa and Kim Kang-min, whose nickname is a ‘young power outfielder’ played a significant role for the team’s victory.

Trailing behind Song and Park in the pay scale is LG Lee Dae-hyeong who is expected to receive 80 million won this year, a 110 percent year-on-year increase from 38 million won. Lee first started his pro-baseball life five years ago and participated in full games (125 games) in 2007. As he succeeded 53 stolen bases, he became the best stolen base player and recorded a batting average of 0.308.

SK Kim Kang-min signed a contract of 70 million won this year compared to 34 million won last year, 105.9 percent pay increase. The players who saw more than 100 percent increase in their salary also include SK Kim Gwang-hyeon and Park Jeong-gwon (from 20 million to 40 million won), and KIA Lee Hyeon-gon (from 60 million to 120 million won).

SK’s victory during the regular season and the Korean Series had a great impact on the salary hike.

An official from a sports team said, “It is inevitable that those who already receive a salary of over 100 million won see a small increase in their salary. The players whose current salaries float around 50 million won are the ones who usually enjoy the fanfare of highest salary increase.”