“I lost my position at LG…” FA 7.8 billion won. How did it explode? That day, the trade turned the tables on life

Trade is like that. Maybe he was going downhill in his baseball career, but Yang Seok-hwan (32) of Doosan Bears never gave up. He became a player who lost his position in one team, but he is an essential player in another team. The day when the trade was made to Yang two years ago was the starting point of a great reversal in his life.

The Doosan Bears will continue to be with Yang Seok-hwan, the internal FA. Doosan officially announced the previous day (November 30) that it signed a free agent (FA) contract with infielder Yang Seok-hwan for up to 7.8 billion won for 4+2 years. 토토사이트

Doosan said, “The total amount of the first four-year contract is up to 6.5 billion won (down payment of 2 billion won, total annual salary of 3.9 billion won, incentive of 600 million won),” adding, “After the four-year contract was over, it included a two-year, 1.3 billion won mutual option that was triggered by an agreement between the club and the player.” As a result, it has opened up the possibility of an additional two-year extension contract only if the two sides agree after the end of the 2027 season, along with a guarantee amount of 5.9 billion won and incentives of 600 million won over four years.

After graduating from Baegun Elementary School, Shin Il Middle School, Shin Il High School and Dongkuk University, Yang Seok-hwan was a late rookie in the professional league. He joined the LG Twins as the 28th player overall in the third round of the 2014 second rookie draft. When he joined the club, he paid 90 million won (90,000 dollars) to his contract. In the 2014 season, his first year as a pro, he failed to join the main league and played in the Futures League. He recorded a batting average of 0.240 (30 hits in 125 at-bats) with nine homers and 20 RBIs in 46 games, showing the possibility of a “jammy jil big shot.”

It was at the spring camp ahead of the 2015 season that Yang revealed his presence in earnest. Originally, Yang was evaluated as the fourth batter who led Dongguk University’s heyday since his amateur days, and was well-versed in hitting. He was even the MVP of the 68th National University Baseball Championship. Rather than Shinil High School, he fully realized his potential after entering Dongguk University.

Yang even went on a diet ahead of the spring camp, and has emerged as a rising star with strong attack and defense capabilities. Above all, LG raised high expectations for his team as a card to fill the void left by third baseman, which was LG’s biggest challenge at the time. He gained trust from LG coach Yang Sang-moon at the time, and started to gain experience. Despite playing in 125 games during his first professional league season in the 2015 season, he posted a batting average of 0.260 (93 for 358) with eight homers, 48 RBIs, 36 runs scored with 18 walks, 75 strikeouts, and a slugging percentage of 0.394 with a on-base percentage of 0.293.

In the 2016 season, Yang continued to play in the first division. Although Jung Sung-hoon and Luis Jimenez were standing in both hot corners, Yang started to take chances again from the second half of the season. In particular, he became the Daily MVP by hitting a finishing infield single as a pinch-hitter in Game 3 of the playoffs against the NC Dinos, which was loved by many LG fans. In 2016, he played in 80 games with a batting average of 0.276 (56 hits in 203 times at bat) with six homers, 37 RBIs, 24 runs scored, and a slugging percentage of 0.24 on-base percentage.

And Yang has emerged as LG’s main infielder. He mainly took charge of third base positions and played as a first baseman. His batting average in the 2017 season was 0.263 (117 hits in 445 times at bat), 14 homers, 83 RBIs, 62 runs with 38 walks, 93 strikeouts, and a slugging percentage of 0.326. In the 2018 season, he played in a career-high 140 games with a batting average of 0.263 (127 hits in 483) with 22 homers, 82 RBIs, 53 runs, and a slugging percentage of 0.453, demonstrating his slugging capability again.

Yang Seok-hwan, who joined Sangmu and served in the military, hit 13 home runs in the Futures League in 2019, becoming the home run king of the Futures League. However, after Sangmu was discharged from the military, an unusual atmosphere began to be detected in his position at LG. LG already embraced Kim Min-sung, who was playing the main third baseman for the Kiwoom Heroes, to solve the chronic third base problem ahead of the 2019 season. At that time, Kim Min-sung signed a three-year FA contract with Kiwoom for a total of 1.8 billion won and then made a cash trade (500 million won) with the LG Twins. From the 2012 season to the 2018 season, LG had completely filled the third base gap with the recruitment of Kim Min-sung, who hit a batting average of over 288 percent for seven consecutive seasons and a double-digit home run for six consecutive seasons. Eventually, Yang Seok-hwan was listed as a postseason entry that year, but he never played, and he seemed to become a player who was gradually becoming forgotten. He played in 40 games with a batting average of 0.246 (29 hits in 118 times at bat) with three home runs and 13 RBIs.

It was March 25, 2021, ahead of the 2021 season, that was a big inflection point for Yang Seok-hwan. At that time, it was the Doosan Bears who visited Yang Seok-hwan in the midst of an exhibition game. Instead of sending Ham Deok-ju and pitcher Chae Ji-sun to LG, Doosan made a 2:2 trade with Yang Seok-hwan to receive pitcher Namho. At that time, Doosan was thirsty for another big shot with long-range power, even though Kim Jae-hwan was holding out. In the end, in the first trade between Doosan and LG since 2008, Doosan sent Oh Jae-il to Samsung and strengthened its position at first base, which was considered a weakness.

This trade became a stroke of genius. After joining the Doosan Bears, Yang flew like a fish in the water. Rather than immediately becoming a backup, he made a leap back to the starting lineup. In 133 games in the 2021 season, he hit a career-high 28 homeruns as well as a batting average of 0.273 (133 hits in 488 at-bats). Both 96 RBIs and a slugging percentage of .490 were career-highs. Having recorded a batting average of 0.244 (999 hits in 405 at-bats) in the 2022 season with 20 homers and a slugging percentage of 0.432, Yang recorded a career-high batting average of 0.281 (147 hits in 524 at-bats) in 140 games in the 2023 season. He also hit 21 homers, achieving double-digit home runs for three consecutive seasons. His slugging percentage was 0.454, ranking fifth in the league in 89 RBIs overall. Over the past three years as a member of the Doosan Bears, he hit a batting average of 0.267, 69 homers, 236 RBIs and an OPS (on-base plus slugging) of 0.788. In the KBO league, he played in 897 games with a batting average of 0.281, 122 homers and 499 RBIs. In just three years while playing for Doosan, he hit 69 homers, more than half of his 122 homers. This is a record that shows how well he has performed for Doosan. In the end, these last three seasons’ performances served as the foundation for this FA jackpot miracle.

“Yang Seok-hwan is an essential player for the batting lineup, as he has recorded 20 home runs for three consecutive years while using Jamsil Stadium as his home base,” a Doosan Bears official said. “I am looking forward to playing a role as a dugout leader as well as on the ground.” Now, Yang is expected to play a veteran role as a perfect Doosan man, not an LG Twins. “My baseball life has started again as I joined the Doosan Bears in a trade,” Yang said through his club. “I wanted to stay with the team since I exercised my qualification as an FA. I thank the owner Park Jung-won for signing the contract on favorable terms. I think the FA contract is not the end but the beginning. I will take the lead in continuing Doosan Bears’ culture as a center hitter and a good senior player.” Now, Yang is working with Doosan fans again to win the title at the Doosan Bears.

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