The Samsung Lions have signed closer Kim Jae-yoon as a free agent (33-year old). Samsung hopes to rebound next season by signing an outside free agent to bolster its bullpen, one of its biggest concerns.
Kim appeared in 59 games this season, posting a 5-5 record with 32 saves and a 2.60 ERA. It was his third consecutive year of 30 saves since 2021. He has played for the KT Wiz since 2015 and has a career record of 44-33 with 17 shutouts and 169 saves in 481 games. His 169 saves rank eighth in the KBO, behind only Oh Seung-hwan (400 saves) and Jung Woo-ram (197 saves) among active players.토토사이트
With Kim’s signing, Samsung has bolstered its bullpen, which has been a weak spot. Samsung’s bullpen ERA was 5.16 this season, the worst among the 10 teams in the league. It had the most blown saves (38) in the league. As 41-year-old closer Oh Seung-hwan faltered to a 4-5 record, two saves, and a 3.45 ERA, the rest of the bullpen – left-hander Lee Seung-hyun, right-hander Lee Seung-hyun, and right-hander Woo Kyu-min – hung their heads in shame. Realizing that internal development wasn’t going to happen quickly, new manager Lee Jong-yeol turned to the free agent market.
“The more players we have, the better,” Lee Jong-yeol said about signing outside free agents. We are concerned about overpaying, but as it is, (Samsung) will finish last or eighth again. We need to bring in outside power.” The signing of Kim Jae-yoon was handled by Lee Jong-yeol himself, and not many people inside the Samsung front office were aware of the process. The deal was handled with precision and agility.
“The retention of Oh Seung-hwan should go hand-in-hand (with the signing of outside free agents),” Lee Jong-yeol said. “Young players need role models to grow,” Lee said. They need time to grow, and to buy that time, we need to retain Oh Seung-hwan and sign outside free agents.” If Samsung succeeds in retaining Oh Seung-hwan, the team will have the No. 1-3 pitchers in saves among active pitchers. In that case, Kim Jae-yoon and Oh Seung-hwan could serve as double-stoppers.
The terms of Kim Jae-yoon’s contract are reportedly in the mid-to-high 50 billion won range for four years. The key is Oh Seung-hwan’s salary. Oh earned 1.8 billion won in the 2023 season. Even if his pace is down from his prime, the Lions will have to offer a similar amount to get him. Samsung spent a lot of money on Kim Jae-yoon, so it will be interesting to see if they can sign Oh Seung-hwan as well.