The Lotte Giants have named Kim Tae-hyung manager. The 15-year pro and Lotte’s most senior player has a unique background.
Jeon Jun-woo is taking a break after the regular season. It’s a time to be with his family. “I play with my kids and spend time with my wife,” he laughed when I contacted him on the 20th.
Jeon is not technically a “Lotte player” at the moment. He will become a free agent at the end of this season. This will be his second free agency after 2019 (four years and up to 3.4 billion won).
In contrast to his leisurely life, the situation at Lotte has been hectic. Lee Kang-hoon’s representative moved quickly, meeting with head coach Kim Tae-hyung on the 18th and putting his stamp on the 20th. A three-year contract for 2.4 billion won, including a down payment. It’s the best treatment for an active manager like KT Wiz manager Lee Kang-cheol.
On the other hand, the team also said goodbye to former manager Sung Min-kyu. It’s a change of leadership both at the front and on the field. After 11 years since the Royster-Yang Seung-ho era, this signals Lotte’s return to the field rather than the front office.
Discussing a contract with his original team is not tampering. However, they were not in a position to discuss free agency. It’s up to the new manager to decide what to do with Jeon Jun-woo and Ahn Chi-hong. “We will take our time to choose a candidate and discuss with the parent organization,” Lee explained.
Jeon understands the club’s position. “We haven’t talked to the club yet. They must have been busy appointing coach Kim Tae-hyung. The head coach position is also vacant. There is an order to things. I’m still waiting without impatience.”
This year, he was undoubtedly Lotte’s best hitter. He batted as well as he ever has, hitting .301 with 17 home runs, 77 RBIs, and an OPS of .852. He leads the team in most offensive metrics except stolen bases.
He has been a member of the Lotte One Club since joining the team in 2008. He became Lotte’s franchise star after Lee Dae-ho retired. He also served as captain for several years.
Along with Ahn Chi-hong, who served as captain this year, Jeon will represent the team at the inauguration ceremony for new head coach Kim Tae-hyung on April 24.
Despite being prospective free agents, both Jun-woo and Ahn have a strong affinity for Lotte. As Lotte goes for the “Win Now” with the appointment of Kim, they don’t want to lose two of their best hitters and the backbone of their leadership. 짱구카지노
However, Jeon, who is over 35 years old, is a Class C free agent. He can move teams without compensation. A surprise move like Park Byung-ho (KT Wiz) is also possible. There is a feeling that his value was not fully recognized in his first free agency. There is also a sense of pride that he has shown the presence of a ‘hyeja FA’ for the past four years.
“It’s a little ambiguous, but I thought I should say hello to him. I didn’t think it was polite. I hope I can be a ‘gift’ for the new coach. Maybe we can play fall baseball together,” he laughed.