“Definitely More Than 10 Billion FA” Next Year’s FA Market’s Biggest Fish, How Much Should We Give

While the 2024 free agency market is still in full swing, attention is also turning to the 2025 free agency market later next year. Among them, one of the biggest names in free agency is South Korea’s top submarine pitcher, Ko Young-pyo (32-KT).

After graduating from Gwangju Daejeon High School, Gwangju Dongseongjung University, Hwasun High School, and Dongguk University, Ko donned a KT Wiz uniform with the 10th overall pick in the second round of the 2014 KBO Draft. He will be entering his 11th year as a professional next year.헤라카지노

As a founding member of KT Wiz, Ko continues to play as a KT One Club member. At the beginning of his career, Ko was a pitcher who didn’t receive the attention he does now. After graduating from Hwasun High School, he headed to the collegiate ranks without receiving a professional draft pick. He joined KT in the 2014 season after playing a key role in Dongguk University’s three championships in 2013.

He wasn’t a starter from the start. He made his first-team debut in 2015, posting a 3-4 record with a 5.68 ERA. He pitched mostly out of the bullpen.

From then until the 2018 season, Ko had four consecutive seasons of sub-5 ERAs. After posting a 2-4 record and a 5.59 ERA in 2016, he became a full-time starter in 2017, going 8-12 with a 5.08 ERA, and 6-9 with a 5.13 ERA in 2018.

After delaying his enlistment in the military, Ko was unable to make the national team for the 2018 Jakarta-Palembang Asian Games. After fulfilling his national defense obligations as a social service worker, Ko returned to the Jeolchibusim and won double-digit games for three consecutive seasons from 2021 to this season. He is now one of South Korea’s leading pitchers. In 231 career appearances, he has a 55-50 record with seven shutouts and a 3.97 ERA. In 920⅔ innings pitched, he has 997 hits (61 home runs), 148 walks, 97 hit batsmen, 778 strikeouts, and 439 runs (406 earned).

Ko’s performance this season has been nothing short of spectacular. In 28 games (27 starts), he has a 12-7 record with a 2.78 ERA. In 174⅔ innings pitched, he has 181 hits (7 home runs), 19 walks, 114 strikeouts, 57 runs (54 earned), a 1.15 WHIP, and a .269 batting average. He has pitched 21 quality starts (6 innings or less), which is his goal every game.

Ko is now eligible for free agency for the first time in his career after the 2024 season. With Uhm Sang-baek and Shim Woo-joon (KT), Choi Won-tae (LG), Choi Jeong and Seo Jin-yong (SSG), Kim Won-joong and Koo Seung-min (Lotte), Lim Ki-young and Jang Hyun-sik (KIA), and Lim Jeong-ho (NC) expected to become free agents, Ko is already one of the biggest names in the free agent market. Homegrown starters are a precious commodity in the league. Plus, a changeup with league-leading trade value. And work ethic. Most importantly, he has one of the best qualities of a pitcher: computerized accuracy.

The industry has no hesitation in calling him one of the biggest names in free agency next year. The general manager of Team A said, “Nowadays, even if you have three solid homegrown starters, you are considered a championship contender. I think a pitcher of Ko Young-pyo’s caliber is guaranteed a multi-year contract worth more than 10 billion won. Although his age is not small, in recent years, players in their early 30s have often maintained their performance well into their late 30s, and Ko Young-pyo has proven his durability without major injuries.”

While the salary cap is a variable for each team, ace-level starters have continued to hit the jackpot in recent years. Last October, the Lotte Giants signed homegrown starter Park Se-woong to a five-year, $9 billion non-free agent contract ($7 billion in salary and $2 billion in options). In December, the NC Dinos signed Koo Chang-mo to a seven-year, $13.2 billion non-free agent contract (if he does not qualify for free agency after the 2024 season). In response, KT President Nadahyun told Star News, “We need to talk to the higher-ups. We are open to many different ideas.”

Ko’s salary for the 2023 season is 430 million won, and there is also interest in his 2024 salary. After all, the free agent market is driven by the laws of supply and demand. Depending on how he performs in 2024, his value could skyrocket.

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