“I asked you first” Resurrected Veteran’s “counterproposal”…Lotte paid back with a two-year contract without thinking about it

February 4, 2024 | by

“I asked for it from the beginning”

Kim Sang-soo, who was selected by the Samsung Lions as the 15th overall pick in the second round of the rookie draft in 2006, played a total of 14 seasons for Nexen-Kium Heroes and SSG Landers, starting with Samsung. In particular, in 2019, he spent his career high season playing in 67 games with three wins, five losses and a 3.02 ERA, and at the same time embraced the title of “Hold King.” The 40 hold set by Kim Sang-soo at the time is the record for the most hold in a season that has not been broken yet.

Kim Sang-soo, who had been enjoying his best performance at Kiwoom, moved to SSG through “sign and trade” after the 2020 season, and left him regretful with four wins, three losses, five holds, six saves, and a 5.09 ERA in 50 games in 2021. In the following year, he was sluggish with one save and a 9.00 ERA in eight games, and eventually he couldn’t avoid a sharp wind after the season ended. Lotte reached out to Kim Sang-soo.

Lotte judged that Kim Sang-soo was sluggish for two consecutive years, but he is highly likely to rebound, and expected him to center the mound as a veteran pitcher. Kim Sang-soo, who was desperate amid the fear of being released, showed a completely different performance last year. He pitched in 67 games and played 52 innings, 4 wins, 2 losses, 18 holds, and an ERA of 3.12, making him the core of Lotte’s bullpen, earning more than 110 million won per year. It was as if he had regained his prime.

Kim Sang-soo, who proved his value with his ‘skill’, offered Park Jun-hyuk a ‘first’ offer during the salary negotiations. It was to sign a non-FA multi-year contract. From Lotte’s point of view, he served as a model for young prospects and accepted Kim Sang-soo’s offer, who is more sincere than anyone else. As a result, the company successfully signed a two-year contract before the departure of the spring camp on the 31st of last month (Korea Standard Time).

Kim Sang-soo, who has been sweating hard to prepare for the 2024 season, including his first bullpen pitching on the 2nd after entering the Guam Deedeo Sports Complex on the 1st, met with reporters on the 3rd. When asked about the extension contract, Kim Sang-soo smiled, “I asked the club (for the extension contract) from the beginning, and he readily gave me permission on the spot. I feel so good from the player’s point of view because they gave me a good evaluation and contract.”

As he signed a two-year contract, he expressed his joy at joining Lotte through the 2025 season, but also expressed his burden. “I feel more responsibility and affection for the Lotte team as I sign an extension contract. Now, however, I think I should not delay what I have to do. That’s why I feel a lot of responsibility. And I don’t think I’m stable (just because I signed an extension contract). Rather, it is burdensome. Since the club has recognized him, it is a player who has to show his value. I feel a lot of responsibility and pressure,” he said with a smile.

He referred to “responsibility” and “burden” in the sense of an extended contract, but he cannot deny that he earned the feat through his own skills after moving to Lotte. The club was also well aware of Kim’s commitment, so it readily accepted Kim’s offer. “I’m glad that the club has appreciated everything. However, I think it means that the club should do better than what it has done so far. That’s why my role and goal is not to be satisfied here and to go public more,” Kim stressed.

In fact, Kim Sang-soo has been a great contributor to the team in baseball, but he has contributed a lot to the team even in unseen places, such as bringing together a large number of young players and leading by example through thorough self-management than anyone else. Lotte also fully considered this point, and signed an extension contract with “Captain” Jeon Joon-woo, the highest-level Jung Hoon, as well as Kim Min-sung and Jin Hae-soo, who newly joined the team, to put more effort into bringing the team together.

Kim Sang-soo is also familiar with this. “Players my age have made the team feel better. (Kim) Min-sung played with him before, and (Choi) Hang joined the SSG. (Oh) Sun-jin also joined the military. 월카지노 It feels good to have several players. And (former) Jun-woo became the new captain, and since last winter, senior players have been eating a lot, communicating, and going hiking together. I think it should be a strength to him.”

The mood of the team is improving considerably with the joining of senior players. “The mood of the team is getting better and better. I also had a lot of conversations with Jun-woo hyung about this,” Kim Sang-soo said. “You can’t change everything at once, so you just have to take your time. Then you can make the team more sticky. Little by little, changes are being made,” he said. “Coach Kim Tae-hyung also seems to think about ‘Qi’ as important. And the coach’s prayer is not strong enough. Athletes should always have a mindset that they are not defeated by anyone. You can win only when you are strong. I also want to emphasize this to the players.”

Lotte finished the season seventh in the regular season last year, failing to make it to the autumn stage for six consecutive years. Kim Sang-soo also had a great season personally, but expressed regret over his team’s performance. He said, “I received a lot of love from Lotte fans last year, but I think I should think about what I lacked more. I feel great that the fans congratulated me so much (about the extension contract) that I can play this fall. I will do my best and do my best. I hope we can become a different Lotte this year, and I will show that to you.”


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