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“I don’t want to meet as a player from the opposing team.”
Lotte set-up man Koo Seung-min (33) hoped that the ‘FA duo’ would definitely remain in the giants. Lotte's two veteran hitters, Jeon Jun-woo (37) and Ahn Chi-hong (33), are scheduled to become free agents after the end of this season. These are players who have already signed one free agent contract and are about to become free agents for the second time in their lives.
Jeon Jun-woo, who exercised his first free agent rights after the 2019 season, signed a new four-year contract with Lotte for a total of 3.4 billion won. He recorded a batting average of .279 with 26 home runs and 96 RBI in 2020, a batting average of .348 with 7 home runs and 92 RBI in 2021, and a batting average of .304 with 11 home runs and 68 RBI in 2022. He also recorded a batting average of .312 with 17 home runs and 77 RBI this season, making him an indispensable member of Lotte's lineup. He proved once again that he is an unstoppable player.
Ahn Chi-hong, who qualified as a free agent for the first time in his career ahead of the 2020 season, signed a 2+2 year contract with Lotte worth up to 5.6 billion won and joined the giants. Ahn Chi-hong, who had a batting average of .286 with 8 home runs and 54 RBI in 2020, a batting average of .306 with 10 home runs and 82 RBI in 2021, and a batting average of .284 with 14 home runs and 58 RBI in 2022, is the epitome of consistency as he left a batting average of .292 with 8 home runs and 63 RBI this year. It was clearly shown.
Lotte is already planning for them to remain. Lotte CEO Lee Kang-hoon emphasized, “Jeon Jun-woo and Ahn Chi-hong are essential players in the fielder position and are exemplary players not only in terms of performance but also in all aspects.”
Set-up man Koo Seung-min, who played as a teammate with them, also feels the same way. Koo Seung-min said, "We really need both players," and added, "I have high expectations when (former) Jun-woo and (Ahn) Chi-hong come out to bat. I don't want to see Jun-woo and Chi-hong as players on the opposing team. During my time as managing director, the National Police Agency “I played against them as a player. I was weak to both of them. They must be on our team,” he said, raising his voice. Attention is being paid to whether Lotte will be able to seat both Jeon Jun-woo and Ahn Chi-hong as Koo Seung-min wishes.
Koo Seung-min pitched in 67 games this year, recording 2 wins, 6 losses, 3 saves, 22 holds, and an ERA of 3.96. He became the second player in KBO league history and the club's first player to record 20 holds for four consecutive years, and the honor of reaching 100 total holds for the first time in Lotte history. hugged However, Koo Seung-min said that he would not be too ambitious about his personal record, saying, "He is always thinking about appearing in 60 games. The rest of the records will follow."
Lotte was unable to participate in fall baseball once again, finishing in 7th place in the regular season this year. Lotte, thirsty for victory, is making a new start by signing a surprise contract with 'master' coach Kim Tae-hyung. Koo Seung-min visited the Lotte Hotel in Busan on the 24th to attend director Kim Tae-hyung's inauguration ceremony, and was able to say hello to director Kim Tae-hyung in the elevator.
When coach Kim Tae-hyung asked, “Is your arm okay?” Koo Seung-min responded, “It’s okay. I’m resting well.” What was Koo Seung-min’s first impression of director Kim Tae-hyung? Koo Seung-min said, “The director made a good impression and greeted me first.”
Coincidentally, when Koo Seung-min finishes next season, he will be eligible for free agency. CEO Lee Kang-hoon and coach Kim Tae-hyung have already left messages wishing for Koo Seung-min to remain. Koo Seung-min said, "I am grateful that the CEO and coach said that. I don't think about things that haven't happened yet. It's more important now to prepare for next season," and said, "It is more important to prepare for next season." We pledged to accelerate our efforts.
Above all, his goal is to become a ‘calculating player’ as the team’s setup man. Koo Seung-min said, “I think the director needs to prepare for Gyesan to stand up.”
Thursday, December 21, 2023