It started hot, then went cold. There was a void in the free agent market this winter. As soon as the market opened, there was a flurry of signings, with Hanwha snagging offensive infielder Ahn Chi-hong (formerly of Lotte) and Samsung landing closer Kim Jae-yoon (formerly of KT). However, the market has been largely asleep since Doosan signed internal free agent Yang Seok-hwan to a residual contract on March 30.랭크카지노
The number of so-called high-profile free agents has dwindled. Moreover, the purchasing power of each team has decreased. With the exception of a few clubs, most teams are locked into a salary cap and cannot move immediately. Demand for free agents is also down. This is why clubs in contract negotiations with certain players are not rushing to sign them. When there is more than one real demand, there is competition. Contracts tend to speed up.
Despite this, we haven’t seen the usual ‘free agency’ declarations around this time of year.
This is because almost all clubs are playing the “what if” game and thinking about what could happen later. Hanwha, for one, is not keeping a close eye on any particular player remaining on the free agent market, but is coy about future moves.
Hanwha is still factoring in the “1%” Ryu Hyun-jin variable into its calculations. Ryu is prioritizing a contract to stay in the major leagues. However, if the conditions are not met and the team has second thoughts, Hanwha is willing to make one last bet that has been in the works for a long time. Hanwha has some salary-cap space to play with, and the team believes it will have a better idea of whether or not it will be able to make a move just before Christmas.
It’s also possible that something worthy of salary cap space will emerge next January, if not immediately. “We don’t know what will happen. We don’t know what’s going to happen, and there’s no reason to announce a hasty withdrawal.”
The same goes for Samsung and others. There are still good ‘value for money’ free agents on the market. I can envision a scenario where they hit the market again once their salary cap space is cleared, including finalizing the remaining contracts of their internal players. Samsung, which is desperate for bullpen depth, is looking to add one more resource to its bullpen if it can afford it.
Perhaps this is the “halftime” of this winter’s free agency market. The game has stopped, but it’s not over. There may be more signings to come.