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"I found an agreement with the agent."

Amid curiosity about the LG Twins' FA move, which won the combined title for the first time in 29 years, Ham Deok-ju (28) is likely to be the first to announce the contract.

In LG, Lim Chan-gyu, Ham Deok-ju, Kim Min-seong, and Oh Ji-hwan are in the FA market. Among them, Oh agreed to a multi-year contract for a total of 12.4 billion won (12.4 billion U.S. dollars) for six years from next season ahead of this season, but he did not write a contract and applied for the FA for the second draft, so the three players, namely Lim Chan-gyu, Ham Deok-ju and Kim Min-seong, are de facto FA. LG is negotiating with a plan to catch all three players.

"I also talked with Kim Dong-wook, an agent of Ham Deok-ju, at the wedding," LG's Cha Myung-seok said. "We reached an agreement to some extent. We have decided to wait because we have to talk to the players." This means that negotiations with Ham are going well. "We have reached an agreement to some extent, but we are still discussing various issues," Kim said, adding that negotiations have not progressed to the point where a contract is signed immediately.

Ham Deok-ju married Joeyan after two years of dating on the 9th and went on a honeymoon in Hawaii, USA.

Ham Deok-ju is one of the biggest contributors to LG's victory this year. In 2021, he came to LG through a 2-2 trade with Yang Seok-hwan as a "winning contractor," but he failed to play well for two years due to injury, but he played a robust role in the bullpen this season. In 57 games, he pitched, recording four wins, four saves and 16 holds. His ERA was 1.62, which was very good. He pitched 55 ⅔s, striking out 59 and walking only 22. When Ko was out due to injury, he also played as a temporary closer. Since he fell out due to elbow pain in late August, he has recovered slower than expected and failed to return to the regular season. However, in the Korean Series, he pitched in a total of four games, including Games 1, 2, 3, and 5, and recorded one win and an ERA of 2.70. In Game 2, he allowed no runs in the top of the eighth inning and then came from behind to win the game with Park Dong-won's dramatic two-run shot in the bottom of the eighth inning, giving Ham the first Korean Series winning pitcher.

Next season, Ham Deok-ju is essential to LG. In particular, Ko Woo-suk is currently seeking to advance to the Major League through posting, so he must catch Ham Deok-ju. If Ko leaves for the Major League, the pitcher who will finish right away will disappear. It will be easier for LG to find a new finishing touch with Kim Jin-sung or Ham Deok-ju who have experience in finishing. Depending on the situation, Ham Deok-ju may come out as a closing pitcher.

For LG, it is fortunate that Ham Deok-ju has become a B grade. Initially, Ham Deok-ju, whose annual salary is 100 million won (approx. However, many teams were shocked when he became a B grade when the KBO made public its eligibility list. While a C grade requires compensation without compensation, a B grade requires compensation with one compensation player, excluding 25 protected players. For Ham, a C grade is advantageous because many teams need offers to raise their ransom, but for LG, a B grade was more advantageous in protecting Ham.

LG was briefly surprised. When the Major League secretariat asked about Ham Deok-ju on April 30, the team was paying attention to him because he had a reception where he hid the ball as fast as possible and displayed excellent changeups. Fortunately, negotiations between LG and Ham are going well as he did not show much intention to the Major League.

The Doosan Bears, which uses Jamsil as its home stadium, won three championships in 2015, 2016 and 2019, and had a hard time since moving to the next-door LG Twins in 2021. However, he had the pleasure of winning this season by relieving LG's resentment, getting married and raising a happy family. Now, the FA jackpot is also coming. Ham will return from his honeymoon on the 18th.
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Thursday, December 14, 2023
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