The Korean professional baseball free agent (FA) market will begin.
The Korea Baseball Organization (KBO) announced the 2024 FA qualification list on the 15th. There are a total of 34 FA-qualified players, and by grade, there are 8 A-grade players, 14 B-grade players, and 12 C-grade players.
By club, SSG has the largest number of people with six, LG and Samsung have five, Lotte four, KT, Doosan, Kia and Kiwoom have three, and NC and Hanwha have one each.
Among them, eight people, including Oh Ji-hwan (LG), Moon Seung-won, Park Jong-hoon, Choi Jung, Han Yu-seom (SSG), Kim Tae-gun (KIA), Park Se-woong (Lotte), and Koo Ja-wook (Samsung), who signed long-term contracts with their teams, and Doosan Jang Won-jun announced their retirement. In fact, there are 25 players on the FA market.
There are no big-time players like in previous years, but there are many good players, so if the transfer window opens, there is a high possibility of a series of moves. Doosan pitcher Hong Gun-hee and fielder Yang Seok-hwan received A grades.
Hong Gun-hee kept Doosan’s back door by making 22 saves this year following 18 saves last year. Yang Seok-hwan hit more than 20 home runs for the third consecutive year while using Jamsil Stadium as his home ground. He is a proven slugger.
If a grade A player is recruited as an FA, the recruited club must compensate the original club 200% of the previous annual salary, one person excluding 20 protected players, or 300% of the previous annual salary.
There are many players with immediate power cuts in grade B as well. Lim Chan-kyu, Ham Deok-ju (LG), Kim Jae-yoon (KT), Kim Sun-bin (KIA), An Chi-hong, Jeon Jun-woo (Lotte), and Lee Ji-young (Kium). The amount of compensation for grade B players is 100% of the previous year’s annual salary and one player other than 25 protected players or 200% of the previous year’s annual salary.
Oh Seung-hwan stands out in the C grade. Oh Seung-hwan, who will turn 42 next year, has made 30 saves this season. He also set up a 400-save gold medal tower for the first time in the KBO league.
Outfielder Ko Jong-wook (Kia) and winning catcher Kim Min-sik (SSG) with a total batting average of 30% are also C-grade sales that deserve attention from the market. If you recruit a C grade, you will have to pay 150% of your previous year’s salary to your former club without a compensation player.
FA-qualified players must apply for approval for the exercise of FA rights to KBO by the 17th, within two days after the announcement. KBO is scheduled to announce FA-approved players on the 18th. Ten KBO league clubs and overseas clubs can freely sign contracts with FA players from the 19th.