Lion’s Backdoor Steaming… “Saving Award and Winning Award, Jung Jo-joon”

January 25, 2024 | by

Kim Jae-yoon (34) was chosen by the Samsung Lions in professional baseball to rebuild the league’s weakest bullpen pitcher lineup. Samsung recruited Kim Jae-yoon, a free agent, for up to 5.8 billion won for four years in November last year and signed Lim Chang-min (39, 800 million won for two years) and Oh Seung-hwan (22, 2.2 billion won for two years) this month, ending the “back door composition” with three closing pitchers with a total of 691 saves.

Competition is inevitable as players have become more competitive. “The ultimate goal of a bullpen pitcher is to finish,” Kim told the Seoul Shimbun in an interview held at the Lions Park in Daegu on Sunday. “Of course, I am greedy and senior players will want to take charge of the ninth inning,” Kim said. “I will use it as an opportunity to grow synergistic effect of competition. I will do my part with the determination to rise again even if I start in the middle.”

Without any hesitation, Samsung contacted Kim Jae-yoon, who joined KT Wiz in 2015 and posted a total of 169 saves. “I heard that Samsung was interested in me, but I was more aggressive than I thought. I got a call from Lee Jong-yeol less than three minutes before the negotiation period (November 19 last year) started,” Kim said. “I felt that he really wanted it. The suggested amount was also higher than expected, so we agreed quickly.”

The presence of Oh, who has been publicly identified as an idol, is another reason why he considered moving to Samsung. “I worked out with him twice, and I thought he was amazing once again considering the weight and intensity of the equipment,” said Kim Jae-yoon, who opened his eyes wide and said, “I gave up the pride that I am second to others and looked back on whether I could do that at that age. It gives me strength and motivation.”

He was also mentioned as a role model for KT pitcher Son Dong-hyun (23). In an interview with the Seoul Shimbun on the 2nd, Son picked Kim Jae-yoon, the epitome of steadiness, as a player he wants to resemble. Kim Jae-yoon, who shyly shook his hand, smiled at Son, saying, “He is a younger brother who does a lot of things that seniors would adore. He just answered his barrage of passionate questions.” As an advice to Son, he said, “The bullpen pitcher told me not to drink or go to bed early, as long as it was illegal, because I had to forget the collapsed game quickly.”

In Game 3 of the Korean Series against the LG Twins on Nov. 10 last year, Kim Jae-yoon also confessed his regret that he gave up momentum in the series after hitting a three-run home run in the top of the ninth inning. “It was inexcusable. I had to finish the inning by not walking Austin Dean, the former batter,” Kim said. “Even if that moment comes again, I will fight with fastballs, which is my main weapon. I will do my best not to capture them.”

Kim Jae-yoon, who was the oldest player in the KT’s pitching team, will focus on serving as an intermediate bridge in the Samsung Lions, which is full of veteran players. “As I was the oldest player until last season, I felt more pressure than my original age (laughs). I feel at ease thinking that I am still young,” Kim said. As for Samsung Lions Park, which has a shorter distance between right and left sides compared to other stadiums, he stressed that he is training mainly to control his ball in order not to get hit by long balls.

“I want to be the best closing pitcher,” Kim Jae-yoon, who ranked second in save for the past two consecutive seasons, said. “My team’s offense is strong, so if I win a save award, I can win,” he said. “I’m confident that I can play for seven to eight more years like my seniors. I’ll be evaluated as a good player 랭크카지노.”


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