The Lotte Giants challenge Winnow in the 2023 season with ‘Storm Recruitment’.
On the 24th of last month, Lotte held a ceremony to organize the year 2022 at Sajik Baseball Stadium in Busan. At this meeting, Lotte Giants CEO Lee Seok-hwan presented a goal of 3rd place in 2023.
Lotte, which has failed to advance to the postseason for five consecutive years, is on the “win-now” path of going all-in in the “current” situation. At the end of October, Lotte Corporation generously invested in a paid-in capital increase of 19 billion won, which was prepared through a resolution. At the time, the club sent a strong message, saying, “We have secured funds for future investment and season operation.
A five-year, total of 9 billion won contract with Park Se-woong was the signal. After the end of the 2022 season, Park Se-woong, who supported the enlistment of the Sangmu baseball team, withdrew it after a multi-year contract with Lotte. Lotte, who said, “We signed a contract under unconventional conditions comparable to FA in order to stabilize the starting pitching staff,” said Park Se-woong, a ‘local ace’, to remain in the starting lineup next year.
In the free agent market, they recruited catchers and shortstops, who were weak points. It spent 13 billion won to bring in Yoo Kang-nam (4 years total of 8 billion won) and Roh Jin-hyeok (4 years total of 5 billion won). The ransom price rose more than expected, but he boldly stepped out to make up for his weakness.
They also focused on retaining foreign players, capturing Jack Rex ($1.3 million) and Charlie Barnes ($1.25 million). He made a bold bet because some players were willing to advance to the US challenge. Previously, he had signed a multi-year contract ($1 million in annual salary in 2023) with Dan Strayley. This season, more than 25 billion won was poured into his player contract alone.
He also actively embraced players released by other clubs. He recruited veterans such as Cha Woo-chan with a career of 112 wins, Kim Sang-soo, a former hold king, and Shin Jeong-rak, a sidearm pitcher. Yoon Myeong-jun, who recorded 63 holds in his personal career, was also brought in. He also signed contracts with Ahn Kwon-soo (outfielder) and Lee Jung-hoon (catcher), who are considered to have a sense of power immediately. It is obviously unusual for a particular team to recruit only 7 released players in one season.
It has several characteristics. This is because in the 2022 season, when players left one after another due to Corona 19 and injuries, the team had a painful experience of declining performance. Also, the team structure is expected to improve. This is because Cha Woo-chan, Kim Sang-soo, and Shin Jeong-rak judged that veterans who were recognized for their sincerity would have a positive influence on young players and serve as examples.
The coaching staff has also changed. For the last two years in a row, we have had three foreign coaches in the first team, but only domestic coaches will be available for next season. Bae Young-soo (1st team) and Choi Kyung-cheol (battery) were recruited, and Park Heung-shik was promoted to head coach. It is a decision to reduce the probability of failure for manager Larry Sutton, who is entering the final year of his contract.스포츠토토
Lotte’s wide-ranging moves in the offseason were spearheaded by Seong Min-gyu. Seong Min-gyu, who remains unchanged in the next season, is completely different from the previous three years. He showed active steps, such as contacting the player side first in terms of FA and recruitment of released players. Other clubs are also closely watching Lotte’s wide move. With bold investments and player recruitment, attention is focused on Lotte’s success or failure next season.
Lee Dae-ho, who retired at the end of this season, left with a wish, “Lotte fans don’t come to the baseball field very often. I hope that the players will work hard to bring together Lotte fans who have been shrinking all over the country.”