‘Finally signed’ FA Oh Seung-hwan signed a two-year contract with Samsung for a total of 2.2 billion won

Oh’s annual salary for the 2023 season was the maximum 1.7 billion won including 300 million won in incentives. Ahead of the season, Oh said he would fulfill his responsibility for the team’s performance and delegate his annual salary to the team as a token of solidarity for individual and team rebound. Samsung set the price in honor of Oh’s kindness.

This time, the salary cap had to be considered. The Korea Baseball Organization introduced the salary cap system from last year for upward leveling and sustainable development of the league’s capability. The salary cap has been fixed at 11.4 billion won (12.4 billion U.S. dollars), 120 percent of the annual average for each club, which is the sum of the top 40 players in each club’s annual salary, option actual payment, and FA annual average down payment excluding foreign players and rookies.

According to the KBO’s 2023 annual salary calculation results, Samsung recorded 10.44073 billion won. There was not much surplus until the upper limit of 985.65 million won. If the salary cap is not observed, 50% of the excess must be paid as a sanction. If the salary cap is exceeded for the second consecutive time, 100% of the excess must be paid as a sanction, and the right to nominate in the first round of the following year will drop by nine notches.

During the negotiation process, Lee Jong-yeol, the team’s general manager, said in a telephone interview with X-Sports News that he had made efforts to match the salary cap. “We have decided to match the salary cap well so that it does not overflow. Some players have been added to the team, but some players have been missing, so it does not seem to be a big problem,” a Samsung official also hinted.

After graduating from Gyeonggi High School and Dankook University, Oh was selected as the fifth overall pick in the second round of the first round in 2005 and joined the Samsung team. After joining Samsung, Oh garnered 47 saves (4 wins, three losses and an ERA of 1.59) in 2006, his second year as a pro player, to become the king of saves. He became the youngest player to record 40 saves in the league at the age of 24 years, one month and 26 days, and later became the relief king six times, the most ever in the KBO league, from 2007, 2008, 2011, 2012, and 2021.

In particular, he achieved 100 saves in the minimum games (180 games) in 2007. In 2009, he recorded the minimum games (254 games) and the youngest (26 years, nine months, and 20 days) to complete 150 saves. In 2011, he also broke his record of the minimum games (334 games) and the youngest (29 years, 28 days), accumulating 200 saves. He set a new world record of 200 saves in the minimum games. In 2013, he also recorded the minimum games (398 games) and the youngest (30 years, eight months, and 23 days), reaching 250 saves. Through 2013 he played in 444 games, recording 28 wins, 13 losses, 277 saves with an ERA of 1.69.

After the 2013 season, he played in the Nippon Professional Baseball (NPB) and Major League (MLB). He continued his career by joining the Hanshin Tigers, the St. Louis Cardinals, the Toronto Blue Jays, and the Colorado Rockies. After being released from the Colorado Rockies in 2019, he returned to Samsung and cracked down on Samsung’s back door again in 2020.

In 2020, when he returned to the mound in Korea, Oh pitched 47 ⅔ innings in 45 games, recording 3 wins, 2 losses and 18 saves with an ERA of 2.64. In 2021, he regained the title by showing off his robustness with 2 losses and 44 saves with an ERA of 2.03 in 62 innings in 64 games. At the same time, he became the oldest player (39 years, 2 months and 28 days) to record 40 saves in a season and the oldest ever to save. In 2022, he played 57 innings in 57 games, recording 6 wins, 2 losses, 31 saves with an ERA of 3.32 while holding 31 saves

It was a bit shaky last year. He made his first start as a special measure due to his sluggish performance during the season. He aimed to boost his pitching sense and regain his pitching power. Oh, who started as a starter against the Daegu Kiwoom Heroes on May 3, allowed five hits (one homer) and six strikeouts and three runs in five innings, with no outs. He became a losing pitcher due to 1-4. Since then, he has returned to the mound as a closing pitcher. From September to October, he garnered one win, one loss, seven saves, and an ERA of 0.63 in 14 ⅓ innings in 13 games, showing successful performance.

Oh’s final performance in the 2023 season was 4 wins, 5 losses, 2 ⅔ innings, 30 saves, and an ERA of 3.45. He tied for third in the league’s save category. He also left a monumental milestone as he completed 500 saves in Korea, the U.S., and Japan for the first time in history. For the first time in the history of the KBO league, he has set a 400-save gold medal table.

After signing the contract with Oh, Lee Jong-yeol, the team’s general manager, said, “We have reached the conclusion of this season’s pitching staff. It took some time during the negotiation process to figure out the best way for the team amid an atmosphere of understanding each other. I would like to express my gratitude to Oh for understanding and following the team’s moves to form the best team.”

“Oh Seung-hwan, who remains in the team through the FA contract, is expected to create a synergy effect that shows a strong bullpen in the 2024 season with players recruited through the offseason FA and the second draft,” the Samsung club said.

Prior to signing the contract with Oh Seung-hwan, Samsung had strengthened its back door by recruiting FA pitcher Kim Jae-yoon. At the end of November last year, Samsung concluded the contract for a total of 5.8 billion won (5.6 million U.S. dollars), including a four-year down payment of 2 billion won (2.6 million dollars), an annual salary of 2.8 billion won, and incentives of 1 billion won.

At the time, Kim Jae-yoon said, “I don’t know what kind of position I will take, such as middle and closing pitcher, but I will prepare to show the maximum performance I have in any position. I will become a player who can repay you as much as you look forward to. I want to help find the image of Samsung, which built a dynasty in the past. My goal is to contribute even a little to the path.”

In the second draft of the KBO, the team added left-hander Choi Sung-hoon of the LG Twins and right-handed sidearm Yang Hyun of the Kiwoom Heroes to reinforce the mound. Right-handed pitcher Lee Min-ho, who was released from the NC Dinos at the end of last season, was also brought in at an annual salary of 45 million won.

Additional FA recruitment was also made in succession. Samsung recruited veteran right-handed relief pitcher Lim Chang-min for a total of 800 million won with a two-year contract of 300 million won, an annual salary of 400 million won, and incentives of 100 million won. In addition, Samsung made a two-year contract with right-handed underhander Kim Dae-woo, an internal FA resource, for a total of 400 million won, including a two-year contract period, a 100 million won contract, an annual salary of 200 million won, and an option of 100 million won.

BY: 사설토토

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