1B to 100M ‘90% pay cut’…championship catcher looking to make a comeback, struggles to make the first team

Game 6 of the Korean Series last year. SSG catcher Lee Jae-won celebrated the win by hugging pitcher Kim Kwang-hyun on the mound after getting the final out in the top of the ninth inning.

The excitement of winning the wire-to-wire title was short-lived, as Lee became a free agent after the season and waived his free agent rights. That’s because he struggled in 2020 with a 1-for-10 batting average, rebounded slightly in 2021 with a 2-for-8 batting average, and struggled in 2022 with a 2-for-1 batting average and .574 OPS.

온라인카지노 Lee Jae-won, who signed a four-year, 6.9 billion won deal in his first free agency after winning the 2018 Korean Series, opted out of free agency and re-signed this season for 100 million won per year. That’s a 90 per cent cut from the 1 billion won he received as a free agent.

Looking to redeem himself, Lee started the season as the opening day catcher, but struggled with a 1-for-23 record (4-for-3) in nine games in April and was sent down to the second team in mid-April.

Lee returned to the first team at the end of June, and over the next month, until the end of July, he went 2-for-16 (1-for-2). He was sent back down to the second team at the end of July and was promoted to the first team on the 18th.

Lee went 0-for-2 as a substitute against LG on the 18th and 0-for-2 as a starter against LG on the 19th. On the 20th, SSG removed Lee Jae-won from the first team roster and called up Lee Heung-ryun to the first team. Lee was sent back to the second team after playing just two games.

[OSEN=Incheon, Reporter Park Joon-hyung] On the 19th, SSG Landers and LG Twins played the 2023 Shinhan Bank SOL KBO League at SSG Landers Field in Incheon. In the bottom of the second inning, SSG’s Lee Jae-won laments after hitting an infield single. 2023.08.18 / soul1014@osen.co.kr

Manager Kim Won-hyung said, “(Lee) Jae-won came up and was so…. Sorry. I thought about buttering up until the expansion entry in a little while, but it didn’t work in the attack, so…. In the second team, Heung-ryun is the best, so I raised him,” he said.

In 22 games this season, Lee is batting 7-for-43 with two doubles, three RBIs and an OPS of .202. “I thought Jae-won would be able to put it down and relax by now, but I feel like he’s still carrying a lot of pressure,” Kim said.

In the second inning against LG on the 19th, he hit a fastball in the middle of the plate with runners on first and second, but it was a weak pop-up to the second baseman, and Jae-won slammed his bat down on the ground in frustration. The middle delivery was also poorly timed.

SSG will use two catchers, Cho Hyung-woo and Lee Heung-ryun, for the time being. Main catcher Kim Min-sik was expunged from the roster on the 18th and will be eligible for the first team on the 29th.

Kim praised Cho Hyung-woo, a third-year pro, for his improvement. “Hyung-woo has improved a lot. His defence isn’t too bad, and he gets a lot of second base (outs). He throws steadily,” Kim said, adding, “I’ve lost a lot of anxiety in the game. I think Hyung-woo will be travelling a lot (until Min-sik arrives).” For the rest of the season, the team is expected to rely on Kim Min-sik and Cho Hyung-woo at catcher.

SSG Lee Jae-won / OSEN DB

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