‘Super Agent’ Scott Boras, 71, is now open for business. He has started selling the KBO’s best hitter, Lee Jung-hoo (25, Kiwoom Heroes). He also mentioned Japanese outfielder Masataka Yoshida (30-Boston Red Sox), whom he signed to a five-year, $90 million contract last winter.
Boras appeared at the Major League Baseball general managers’ meetings in Scottsdale, Arizona, on Monday (Sept. 9). As expected from a super-agent whose clients include this winter’s big free agents like Blake Snell and Cody Bellinger, as well as next year’s top free agents like Juan Soto (San Diego Padres) and Pete Alonso (New York Mets), there was a lot of media attention.
Boras also talked about South Korean outfielder Jung-Hoo Lee, who is on the verge of a major league posting. Lee signed with Boras Corporation in January and has been preparing to enter the major leagues.
“Nearly half of the teams in the league have already contacted us about him,” Boras said of the high level of interest in the market, according to New York media outlet SNY. “For those who don’t know, we brought Yoshida, and his ability to hit the ball can work at the highest level,” he added, citing Yoshida as an example of his confidence in Lee’s success.굿모닝토토 도메인
Yoshida, a left-handed hitting outfielder who reigned as the best hitter in Nippon Professional Baseball, came to the major leagues last December after signing a five-year, $90 million free agent contract with Boston, a deal that exceeded expectations and made him the highest-paid Asian hitter ever to reach the big leagues.
Despite the overpayment controversy, Yoshida has lived up to his rookie billing this season, batting .288/.299 (155-for-537) with 15 home runs, 72 RBIs, a .338 on-base percentage, a .445 slugging percentage, and a .783 OPS in 140 games. Yoshida’s performance has had a positive effect on fellow left fielder Jung-Hoo Lee.
While Yoshida specializes in hitting, Lee is different in that he is also an offensive player. “He can play defense and has power,” Boras said. He’s a premium center fielder,” he said, adding, “He’s going to bring K-pop to the major leagues,” a novel phrase.
The K-pop craze, which began with the global popularity of Psy’s “Gangnam Style,” culminated in the rise of BTS. Like K-pop’s popularity in the U.S., Lee would bring a new wave of Hallyu to Major League Baseball.
Boras is known as the “devil’s agent” to teams because of his colorful language and ability to negotiate player-friendly contracts. He has a long history with Korean major leaguers. He signed pitcher Chan Ho Park (Texas Rangers, 5 years, $65 million) in December 2001, outfielder Shin-Soo Choo (Texas, 7 years, $130 million) in December 2013, and pitcher Ryu Hyun-jin (Toronto Blue Jays, 4 years, $80 million) in December 2019. Boras was also at the helm when the aforementioned Hyun-jin Ryu became the first KBO player to go directly to the big leagues when he signed a six-year, $36 million deal with the Los Angeles Dodgers in December 2012.
As the major league offseason begins, speculation about the free agent market continues to pour in. Lee, who was ranked 15th in the free agent rankings released by Major League Trade Rumors (MLBTR) on July 7, was expected to sign a five-year, $50 million contract.
MLBTR pointed to Lee’s center field defense and long bat as concerns, saying, “Some teams had similar concerns when Yoshida came over from Nippon Professional Baseball a year ago. However, Boston had enough faith in Yoshida to guarantee him five years and $90 million, suggesting that teams’ predictions for players coming from other leagues vary. “These contracts are notoriously unpredictable,” he said, cautioning against making assumptions about the size of the deal.
On the 9th, ‘MLB.com’ chose the San Francisco Giants as the most likely destination for Lee through a poll of 58 writers, stating, “The Giants are looking for a fresh start with veteran manager Bob Melvin as their new manager. The Giants will begin that process by signing the 25-year-old Lee, who hit .340 with a .407 on-base percentage and .491 slugging percentage in seven seasons in the KBO,” the voters said.
‘The only other player with an OPS over .800 this season was Wilmer Flores (.863). He is also the only player in San Francisco with more than 20 home runs (23).