Free agent (FA) Han Hyun-hee, who had not been able to find a destination even after passing the year, finally found a team.
Lotte said on the 17th, “We signed a contract with Han Hyun-hee for a total of 4 billion won, including a contract period of 3+1 years, a down payment of 300 million won, and a total annual salary of up to 3.7 billion won.”
Out of the annual salary of 3.7 billion won, only the option is 2.2 billion won. If Han Hyun-hee achieves a certain level of performance, he can receive up to 4 billion won, including his down payment, but if he fails to fill all the option records, the amount he can receive is reduced to 1.8 billion won.
In addition, Lotte decided to give Han Hyun-hee the right to opt-out (the right to terminate the FA contract and declare FA again) in 2026 if Han Hyun-hee achieves grades above the standard during the 3rd season. Lotte self-evaluated, “It is a reasonable contract that provides motivation to players through a high proportion of the option amount within the contract period and at the same time secures starting pitchers who will be active in the mid- to long-term.”
After graduating from Gyeongnam High School, Han Hyun-hee, who was nominated by Nexen (currently Kiwoom) in 2012 as the second choice in the first round and entered the professional stage, continued to play for the same team until last season, recording 416 matches, 65 wins, 43 losses, 8 saves, 105 holds, and an ERA of 4.26. achieved a score of
Last year, Han Hyun-hee only recorded an average ERA of 4.75 with 6 wins and 4 losses in 21 games due to injuries and sluggishness. Kiwoom advanced to the semi-playoffs by finishing third in the regular season, but Han Hyun-hee was not well-received within the team, such as being excluded from the playoffs and Korean Series entries. After the 2022 season, Han Hyun-hee obtained FA qualification, but the original team, Kiwoom, as well as other teams, turned away. The possibility of signing and trading was also discussed, but Han Hyun-hee’s destination was not decided until the year passed.
Lotte praised Han Hyun-hee’s control and movement and explained that it was “a resource that has been active as both a starting pitcher and a bullpen pitcher,” and then “I lost 9kg after the end of last season and showed a different appearance after marriage, so I have high expectations. Also, with the addition of Han Hyun-hee, we expect the depth of the pitching staff to be strengthened.”
The scale of compensation for Han Hyun-hee, who is an FA grade A, is large. Lotte must compensate for raising 500 million won, 200% of the previous year’s annual salary, and one player other than 20 protected players, or 300% of the previous year’s annual salary.
Lotte is still not signing free agent Kang Ri-ho 메이저놀이터, but instead brought in Han Hyun-hee to reinforce the pitching staff.
In this Stove League, catcher Yoo Kang-nam and infielder Roh Jin-hyuk were boldly invested with 8 billion won for 4 years and 5 billion won for 4 years, respectively, to reinforce their strength.
Pitchers released from other teams were also steadily recruited. Starting with Shin Jeong-rak, he brought in Kim Sang-soo, Yoon Myeong-jun, and Cha Woo-chan, and this time, he recruited Han Hyun-hee to further strengthen the pitching staff. Last season, Lotte’s average ERA was 4.45, the worst among 10 clubs after Hanwha (4.83), which was the lowest.
Han Hyun-hee said, “I am grateful to the Lotte club officials who believed in me and gave me good suggestions. I am personally happy to be able to play baseball in my hometown of Busan, and I am excited to be able to receive support from passionate Lotte fans.”
Then he added, “I will work hard as much as Lotte trusted me and do my best to help the team achieve good results.”
Han Hyun-hee is scheduled to hold a joint ceremony with Yu Kang-nam and Noh Jin-hyuk at the Lotte Hotel Busan on the 19th.