Jim Boden, who served as Major League Baseball’s general manager in Washington and Cincinnati and is currently a columnist for the North American sports media The Athletic, predicted the next destination and expected contract size of 30 FA players ahead of the Major League Winter Meeting next week on the 29th. 안전놀이터 Boden expects the future of several FA players even before the offseason, and he made the prediction based on updated information and market environment ahead of the winter meeting.
Lee Jung-hoo, who is recognized as the second best outfielder after Cody Bellinger, expected to sign with San Francisco at the level of $60 million for four years. Boden is constantly predicting $50 to $60 million on a four-year basis based on the size of Lee Jung-hoo’s contract, and this projection does not deviate much from his existing logic. $15 million per year is also a range that most media outlets offer as a reasonable price.
Regarding Lee Jung-hoo, Borden predicted San Francisco’s aggressive move, saying, San Francisco will pursue the majority of the top players in this FA class, starting with Shohei Ohtani. He then predicted, The most likely thing to sign is center fielder Lee Jung-hoo, who has been drooling all summer in their office.” San Francisco is watching the market situation with the biggest players in the FA market this year, including Ohtani, Yoshinobu Yamamoto, and Cody Bellinger on the table.
Borden said, San Francisco believes Lee Jung-hoo will be the type of batter who hits a batting average of 0.270 to 0.290. More importantly, he drew more walks than struck out in seven seasons in the KBO League. He praised his strengths, saying, He has a high contact rate and the ability to draw walks. He is an above-average center fielder with an above-average range, and he has a strong shoulder that makes good jumps and follows a smart ball tracking route, he said, expressing good reviews in terms of defense.
Boden continued his original expectation that it was not a big threat in base and power compared to batting accuracy and defense, but stressed that interest was not a one-off, saying, “San Francisco has long been the leader in his recruitment. In fact, San Francisco has been watched by high-ranking club officials this year and is considered one of the most active clubs in recruiting Lee Jung-hoo. San Francisco is aiming for a left-handed hitter and center fielder this offseason, and Lee Jung-hoo, along with Bellinger, is also the player who best fits this requirement.
Although it is a four-year $60 million, the actual investment amount is larger than this because this includes the posting amount. Moreover, it should not be overlooked that there is a competition. Scott Boras, Lee Jung-hoo’s agent and leading the largest agency in the Major League, is already showing confidence, saying that nearly half of the teams in the Major League have inquired about recruiting Lee Jung-hoo. It is natural that the average annual amount will be higher if competition is added. Above all, it is not unreasonable to predict the total investment amount of nearly $100 million if a team appears to offer a long-term contract of more than four years.
On the other hand, Ryu gave a rather weak assessment. Borden expected a one-year, $8 million contract with Kansas City plus incentives. Borden insisted on recruiting Ryu Hyun-jin, saying, Kansas City needs more proven starting pitchers to help them maintain their game and have greater competitiveness.
It also contains meaning in other aspects. It’s a trade card. Borden said, ‘More importantly, they’ll need players to trade for prospects at the trade deadline, just like they traded Adolis Chapman to Texas this year. Ryu has been impressive since returning from Tommy John surgery last season. He made his first appearance on Aug. 1 and finished the season with a 3.46 ERA in 11 starts, allowing no more than three runs in nine starts and no more than two runs in seven starts.’
Kansas City, which cannot spend much money, is a team that is expected to suffer in next year’s report card. The hit in the last offseason was Chapman. Chapman, who couldn’t find a new team due to poor performance and privacy rumors, was belatedly hired at a low price and used it well. And at the time of Chapman’s highest value, he traded with Texas to secure prospects. Boden argues that it is not unreasonable to dream of the same jackpot with Ryu Hyun-jin, who has a high high peak and is not so expensive to recruit.
However, it is unclear whether the price will be as cheap as Borden thought. Kenta Maeda, who was evaluated similarly to Ryu Hyun-jin, recently signed a two-year guarantee of $24 million with Detroit. In addition, when looking at the treatment of the starting pitchers who have been contracted so far, they often received higher amounts than expected. Ryu Hyun-jin, who has begun the full-fledged comeback process after recovering from an elbow injury, is also in an offseason environment where expectations are growing that more than $10 million a year will be okay. There are many teams that need veteran left-handers, so there is plenty of room to go to a team in a better environment, even if it is not necessarily Kansas City, which is a weak team.