Doosan announced on the 30th that it has signed free agent Yang Seok-hwan. It is a 4+2 year contract worth up to 7.8 billion won. The first four-year contract is worth up to 6.5 billion won (2 billion won in signing bonus, 3.9 billion won in total annual salary, and 600 million won in incentives). After the four-year contract, the deal includes a two-year, 1.3 billion won mutual option that can be triggered by agreement between the club and the player.굿모닝토토
Yang, a graduate of Shinil High and Dongguk University, joined the LG Twins in the third round (28th overall) of the 2014 rookie draft.
The trade was a turning point. At LG, Yang was a promising big-league prospect. He showed promise, hitting 22 home runs in 2018. But the opportunity never came, and he ended up at Doosan, which needed a first baseman after the departure of Oh Jae-il (Samsung) in March 2021. Doosan sent pitchers Ham Deok-joo and Chae Ji-sun, while LG sent Yang Seok-hwan and pitcher Nam Ho.
Given a solid opportunity at Doosan, Yang has turned into one of the league’s best first basemen. He hit 28 home runs in his first year with the club, and although he was slowed by injuries the following year, he still hit 20 arches. This season, as a “prospective free agent,” he hit 21 home runs, ranking fifth in the league in home runs.
After this season, Yang became a free agent. After hitting 20 home runs in Jamsil Stadium, he was considered an attractive addition to the lineup.
The problem was the salary cap. With many clubs in a tight salary cap situation, it was thought that signing Yang could be a burden.
It’s not that there wasn’t interest. Some teams were ready to dive headfirst into a bidding war for him, hoping to make a solid addition to their roster. However, Yang showed his willingness to stay with Doosan, and the club was aggressive enough to sign him after two rounds of negotiations.
With a total of 7.8 billion won, the Bears have virtually reserved the largest amount of money in the free agency market this season. The amount exceeds the 4+2-year maximum of 7.2 billion won (4.7 billion won guaranteed and 800 million won in incentives for four years, 1.3 billion won guaranteed and 400 million won in incentives for a two-year extension) for infielder Ahn Chi-hong, who moved to the Hanwha Eagles from the Lotte Giants on April 20.
A Doosan official said, “Yang Seok-hwan is an essential player for the batting lineup, having hit 20 home runs for three consecutive years while calling Jamsil Stadium home.” “We are looking forward to his role as a dugout leader as well as on the field,” the official added.
The word ‘overpay’ was also used, but compared to the contract of Chae Eun-sung, who is one year older, it was market value. Chae signed a 4+2 year contract last year for a total of 9 billion won (3.6 billion won in down payment, 4.4 billion won in salary, and 1 billion won in incentives).
In 126 games last year as a “reserve free agent,” Chae hit .296 with 12 home runs and 83 RBIs. In 137 games this season, she hit .266 with 23 home runs and 84 RBIs. Chae Eun-sung has been a solid addition to the Hanwha batting order and is considered a successful signing.
In 140 games this season, she batted .288 with 89 RBIs and 21 home runs. That’s a lower batting average than Chae Eun-sung’s pre-free agency season, but he had nine more home runs. This season, she has two fewer home runs, but her batting average is about two points higher.
The second year of Yang’s contract is a non-option. Both the club and the player have the right to terminate the contract. For Yang, it’s a motivation, and for the club, it’s a safety net. “It gave me the desire to sign a contract beyond the end of the four years,” Yang said.
In the end, value has to be proven on the field. “Signing a free agent contract is the beginning, not the end,” said Yang. “Next year, the season starts early, so I’ve already started working out. I will do my best to make a good showing next season.”