The LG Twins should be applauded for their decision. It was a courageous decision.
Back in the day, the Samsung Lions sent Oh Seung-hwan and the Doosan Bears sent Kim Hyun-soo to Japan and the United States, respectively. They were championship contenders and on the verge of building or establishing dynasties, so it made both sense and practical sense. They won another championship without Oh and Kim. And they filled the void.
Woo-Seok Ko signed a two-year, $7.5 million maximum contract with the San Diego Padres. Two years of $4 million guaranteed. LG’s portion of the posting fee is $900,000. Initially, LG was not going to allow Goh to sign unless the contract was large. If LG hadn’t agreed, Ko would not have been able to move to San Diego.
Go Woo-seok’s contract wasn’t cheap, nor was it a huge deal. It’s a bit of a gray area, but LG decided to take the high road and send him to the major leagues. It weakened the team, but it also showed that LG is a big club that cares about the player’s future.
Back in the day, Samsung sent Oh Seung-hwan to the Hanshin Tigers of Nippon Professional Baseball after the 2013 season. At the time, Hanshin signed Oh to a two-year, 900 million yen deal. Seung-hwan Oh was not a free agent, so Samsung placed him under voluntary resignation and allowed him to join Hanshin. Samsung was willing to let Oh go regardless of the transfer fee.
At the time, Samsung was in the midst of a dynasty, having won three consecutive championships. As a result, Samsung won its fourth consecutive championship without Oh Seung-hwan. Although Lim Chang-yong (retired) made an exquisite comeback to fill the closing gap, it was not an easy decision to give up Oh Seung-hwan at that time, even if Samsung was a dynasty. However, Samsung used it as an opportunity to discover new faces.
After winning the 2015 Korean Series, Doosan sent slugger Kim Hyun-soo to the Baltimore Orioles in Major League Baseball. Of course, Kim was a free agent at the time, not posted, so there was no reason for Doosan to give him permission, but it’s clear that the company supported his dream.
After the departure of Kim Hyun-soo, Doosan found a signature hitter in Kim Jae-hwan. Kim Hyun-soo announced his return to Korea after two years away, but Doosan had a hard time getting him. Eventually, Kim Hyun-soo moved to LG, and Kim Jae-hwan became Kim Jae-hwan, and Kim Hyun-soo became Kim Hyun-soo.
Samsung won the title in 2014 and Doosan won the title in 2016, filling the void of their signature stars well. LG could do the same in 2024. Their bullpen depth is the strongest in the 10 teams, so it’s unlikely that their bullpen strength will diminish as they reorganize and adjust to individual positions. It is likely that the team will be well-prepared, as Yoon Kyung-yeop’s style is to have 99% of the next season’s plans in place by the time of the closing camp. Reports have already surfaced that Yoo Young-chan is the new closer.
If LG wins its second consecutive title this year, it will be on its way to becoming a dynasty like Samsung and Doosan. Just like those two organizations, LG could send Go Woo-seok to the major leagues and earn the distinction of being a truly prestigious organization. A team is prestigious if it has the ability to develop players for the future. Just winning a few championships is not enough.