The KIA Tigers are reaping the benefits of the addition of veteran catcher Kim Tae-gun. With the addition of Kim, the Tigers have won six straight games and don’t want to repeat last year’s Park Dong-won fiasco. With the negotiations for Kim’s non-free agent multi-year contract in full swing, the only thing left to do is for KIA to make a decision.아톰카지노
Kim was acquired in a one-for-one trade for infielder Ryu Ji-hyuk on July 5. After struggling at the catcher position for the first half of the season, KIA was urged by manager Kim Jong-guk to bolster its catching staff.
Catchers Han Seung-taek and Joo Hyo-sang, who were on KIA’s opening roster, are out of the first team due to injury and poor performance, respectively. Young catchers Shin Beom-soo and Han Jun-soo, who came up from the Future Team, were also criticized for their up-and-down performances.
In the end, KIA, which has consistently knocked on the trade door, agreed to a trade for veteran catcher Kim Tae-gun, who played for Samsung. Playing in a “three-catcher system” with Kang Min-ho and Kim Jae-sung during his time with the Samsung Lions, Kim did not get much playing time. From KIA’s point of view, the addition of Kim Tae-gun, who needed more playing time, would help strengthen the team and motivate the players.
As expected, Kim made an immediate impact after joining the team. He went on a five-game hitting streak and helped the team win six straight games at the end of the first half. Not only in the batter’s box, but also in the field, he was able to steadily lead the pitchers while showing off his impeccable blocking skills. Now, it’s hard to imagine the KIA outfield without Kim Tae-gun.
Kim Tae-gun has been a non-free agent multi-year contract since he joined KIA. He will be eligible for free agency for the second time after the end of this season, and he hopes to put his troubles behind him and focus on his game under a stable, long-term contract. KIA is also looking to reduce its risk by locking up Kim before he hits the free agent market.
Kia already paid a heavy price for failing to retain Park Dong-won last year, as the previous team manager was accused of asking for money. Naturally, Park, who was supposed to be locked up on a non-free agent multi-year contract, went to the free agent market and rejected an attractive offer from Wonsoo.
As a result of losing Park to allegations of hush money from his predecessor, KIA had to deal with a severe catching shortage for the first half of the season. Even Joo Hyo-sang, a catcher acquired last winter for a second-round rookie pick, hasn’t been able to help the team.
Ultimately, Kim Tae-gun needs to avoid following in the footsteps of Park Dong-won’s failed retention last year. Kim recently sat down with KIA to negotiate a multi-year, non-free agent contract. While a general consensus has been reached, the Kia team is struggling with the size of the player’s contract offer.
In fact, from the players’ point of view, they are not in a hurry to finalize a non-FA multi-year contract. It’s more important for the players to reach a deal that is as close to their calculated value as possible, regardless of the timing. However, the more time that passes, the more urgent Kia will be, as the Park Dong-won case from last year comes to mind. It’s best to mitigate the risks before the offseason and start planning for next season.
Now, it’s up to the Kia team to decide. It is expected that a non-free agent multi-year contract will be finalized as early as August. It will be interesting to see if Kim Tae-gun, who showed his affection for the team by saying “I personally like the color red” when he joined the team, will be able to wear the ‘Hongryongpo’ in the KIA dugout for a long time.