The free agent (FA) market literally moves like a ‘living organism.’ Clubs enter the market with their own plans, but the situation changes from moment to moment. This also applies to players and agencies. Before a contract is signed, tedious final coordination may take place, or the destination may change at the last minute.
A breathtaking race behind the scenes awaits Lee Jeong-hoo (25, Kiwoom), who will challenge for the major league through the posting system (private competitive bidding) at the end of this season. Major league clubs have closely observed Lee Jung-hoo’s talent and watched his development process since his debut in the KBO League. In the case of some clubs, it is said that Lee Jeong-hoo closely checked the type of player he was in the clubhouse and even his private life.
In other words, the espionage war is now over. Each club has completed its evaluation of Lee Jeong-hoo. It is up to each club to evaluate how much Lee Jung-hoo is worth, and they will bet that amount once the posting begins. It is clear that Lee Jeong-hoo has the upper hand in the market. However, this race can be quite complicated. This is because we need to look at the major league market situation after this season.
Clubs also have a designated budget, and how much of the budget is spent on which player changes depending on the situation. If it becomes more expensive than expected, you may withdraw, or you may spend the money on a player who was scheduled to be a lower priority. This year, an unusual situation occurred. Shohei Otani (29, LA Angels), who is expected to rewrite major league contract history, is coming to the market. The market’s attention is entirely focused on Otani.
Although Otani cannot play as a pitcher for the time being due to a recent ruptured elbow ligament, he is worth the price just as a hitter. Right now, he ranks first in home runs and OPS (on-base percentage + slugging percentage) in the American League this year. If he undergoes surgery, he may be able to pitch again as a pitcher after 2025. The general opinion of local media is that a total of more than $500 million is possible.
The number of teams that can jump into the race to recruit Ohtani is limited. Even if it is not possible, it must be a team that can spend a total of 400 to 500 million dollars or more. The majority of the 30 teams are eliminated. It is a feast for some big market teams. Even in the predictions of John Heyman, a columnist for the Major League Network and the New York Post and a major league source, only six teams made it to the list. Other than this, they have already given up on recruiting Ohtani or are taking a wait-and-see approach.스포츠토토
The predicted team announced by Heyman on the 5th (Korean time) included the LA Dodgers, who had been selected as the most likely destination early on, as well as San Diego, Chicago Cubs, Texas, San Francisco, and Boston. It is noticeable that the New York Yankees, the richest team in Major League Baseball, and the Los Angeles Angels, Ohtani’s current team, are missing.
Among these, it is not yet known which team will actually submit a proposal to Otani. However, there are some areas that overlap with the Lee Jeong-hoo market. This is because among the several teams that have shown the greatest interest in Lee Jung-hoo, there are some that are on the ‘Hayman List’. San Diego, Cubs, and San Francisco are teams that have observed Lee Jung-hoo with considerable interest. Some predict that these three teams may be the strongest candidates.
In other words, these teams are likely to look at the mood of Mayor Otani and then look at Mayor Lee Jeong-hoo. The same goes for timing. The major league free agent market opens after the World Series ends. It starts approximately in early November. It is expected that Lee Jeong-hoo’s posting will start a little later. Since the posting period is quite long, Lee Jeong-hoo’s side is expected to approach it as cautiously as possible.
It is expected that Lee Jeong-hoo’s time will come when Ohtani is out of the market and the next big players are out. There is an assessment that there are not as many outfielders in this year’s market as possible with offense, defense, and defense skills. So, this is a time when Lee Jeong-hoo’s value can be evaluated relatively higher. Expectations are already gathering to see how Lee Jeong-hoo’s market will fare.