The interest in Lee Jung-hoo is growing in the Major League Baseball Stovepipe. This time, a local sports channel in the U.S. shed some light on his next destination.
“The Yankees and San Francisco are focusing on signing Lee,” said MLB Network on the 21st (KST). In particular, John Morosi, a prominent Major League Baseball reporter, said, “Lee is applying for a post soon. He’s already getting a lot of interest,” and “He has good contact ability. He plays mostly in the middle infield and can also play corner outfield defense.” “He didn’t play much this season due to injuries, but he’s still a young player at 25 years old.”토토사이트
“It’s not surprising that the Yankees and San Francisco would be interested in Lee,” said MLB Network. Both clubs sent scouts to watch Lee play in the KBO, and he fits the mold of players both teams are known to be looking for this winter.”
San Francisco has been mentioned as a possible destination for Lee. The Athletic and Sports Illustrated both predicted earlier this month that “the Giants will spend big on Lee”.
The relationship between Lee and the Giants was highlighted on March 10, when Giants general manager Pete Putilla visited a game at Kodak Stadium.
Futilla watched, applauded, and showed interest in Lee as he returned from injury to pinch-hit and watched Lee work out before the game. Sports Illustrated (SI) also named “5 Free Agents Who Will Fuse in San Francisco,” and Lee was one of the five, along with Japanese pitching great Yoshinobu Yamamoto.
Lee’s popularity is also evident in local media’s free agent power rankings. In FOX Sports’ 2024 Free Agent Hitters Power Rankings, Lee was ranked fourth overall. “If Lee hadn’t suffered an ankle injury this season, the news of his major league challenge would have gotten more attention,” the outlet said, “He has performed well in South Korea and is considered a more talented prospect than the San Diego Padres’ Ha-Sung Kim.” “At just 25 years old, there are plenty of teams that would love to take a chance on him.”
FOX Sports is not alone in its assessment of Lee’s ability and value. MLB.com, for example, ranks Lee 14th overall in its free agent power rankings, adding to the growing consensus of Lee’s value.
According to MLB Trade Rumors, Lee’s projected free agent contract is five years and $50 million. The outlet’s free agent power rankings put him 15th overall.
Diaspora predicted four years and $56 million, well over $50 million. Given that his “best friend” Kim Ha-seong signed a 4+1 year deal worth up to $39 million (KRW 510 million) with San Diego for the 2021 season, with $28 million (KRW 366 million) guaranteed, Lee is likely to sign for up to double that amount.
In 86 games this season, Lee hit .318 with 105 hits, six home runs, 45 RBIs, and an OPS of 0.861. In particular, he won the regular season MVP last season after winning five batting titles, including batting average, RBI, slugging percentage, and on-base percentage. In his seven seasons since turning pro in 2017, he has hit .340 with 65 home runs, 515 RBIs, and an OPS of .898.
Meanwhile, MLB Network reported, “The move is expected to take place later this month. It will begin after Thanksgiving (the fourth Thursday in November).”