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Ryu Hyun-jin inks 8-year contract with Hanwha Eagles

Posted February. 23, 2024 07:47,   

Updated February. 23, 2024 07:47


Hanwha announced on Thursday that they have signed an 8-year contract with Ryu Hyun-jin for 17 billion won (including opt-out). The scale of the contract is the highest in the history of Korean professional baseball, and the contract period ties for the top spot. Previously, the largest contract was signed by Yang Eui-jee, a free agent, with Doosan in 2022 for 15.2 billion won (4+2 years). In the same year, Park Min-woo, who obtained free agent status, set the record for the longest duration by stamping an 8-year total of 14 billion won with his team, NC Dinos.

From the first news that Ryu Hyun-jin would return to Hanwha after 12 years, it was practically a given that it would be the largest scale contract. However, many did not expect it to guarantee the longest duration. In response, Park Chan-hyeok, president of the Hanwha Baseball Team, explained, "What we valued most was the 'symbolism.' We decided on a duration that could give meaning to the term 'eternal Hanwha man' in the largest scale contract." Ryu Hyun-jin, born on March 25, 1987, can rewrite the record for the oldest appearance in professional baseball, currently held by his team senior Song Jin-woo (59) at 43 years and 219 days, until the last year of his contract in 2031 when he turns 44.

"I will do my best to contribute to Hanwha once again and create new records and history as a member of the team, as they have treated me well and trusted me," said Ryu Hyun-jin. "I concluded that it was appropriate to return to the team as soon as possible when I still feel I am competent enough. I am truly happy and excited to come back." Ryu will depart for Okinawa, Japan on Friday morning to join Hanwha's first-team spring camp.

The Toronto Blue Jays, where Ryu Hyun-jin spent the past four years, also left a message of support in Korean on social media on that day, saying, "Thank you, Ryu Hyun-jin. The Korean monster in Toronto will be remembered forever."

Bo-Mi Im bom@donga.com