Can the gap between SSG Landers and FA catcher Kim Min-sik be narrowed? There is still a gap between the two sides, and there is an atmosphere of great interest in the gap that needs to be narrowed. Kim Min-sik emphasized, “I don’t think it’s such a wide gap. I want to find an agreement in the guarantee money.”헤라카지노도메인
A total of four catchers including Kim Min-sik, Lee Jae-won, Lee Ji-young and Kim Tae-gun were eligible to join the FA market this winter. Among them, Kim Tae-gun signed a multi-year non-FA contract (2.5 billion won or 2.5 million U.S. dollars) at the end of the 2023 season. Lee Jae-won was excluded from the list of players on hold after giving up his application to join the FA, and found a new home. Lee Jae-won decided to join the Hanwha Eagles at the end of last year, and will wear his second career uniform in the 2024 season.
In the end, there were two catchers who applied for FA qualification. Among Lee Ji-young’s B-level catchers, Kim Min-sik is the only C-level catcher. Born on June 28, 1989, Kim Min-sik completed his seven-year career and became a C-level catcher for the first time.
Kim Min-sik is the “winning catcher” who led his team to combined wins at the KIA Tigers in 2017 and SSG Landers in 2022. Kim Min-sik played in 122 games in the 2023 season and recorded a batting average of 0.218/58 hits/ five homers/ 34 RBIs.
Kim Min-sik cruised in his own way during the first half of the season, but fell into a slump as he continued to play in jagged games from August of the 2023 season. Kim, who also joined the Futures League in mid-August, moved back to the first division in September, increasing his participation rate at the end of the season, and spearheaded his team’s rebound. He displayed stability as a veteran catcher who showed strength in throwing and leading pitchers.
With the introduction of the ABS system in the 2024 season, the team seems to be focusing more on its ability to block stolen bases rather than on the framing of catchers. Kim Min-sik, who has a relatively stronger shoulder, has no choice but to increase his value.
The original team SSG still needs Kim Min-sik’s presence. It is still uneasy about leaving the young catcher Cho Hyung-woo for one season. SSG also recruited catcher Park Dae-on and new Bum-soo through the second draft of the KBO. However, it is also true that it is difficult to evaluate the two players based on their capacity as first-team catchers.
The SSG club continued to negotiate with Kim Min-sik with the opening of the FA market. The gap between the two sides continued from the beginning of the negotiations. There was also an atmosphere of narrowing gradually, but the period of stagnation in negotiations was somewhat long.
SSG presented the revised terms of the contract to Kim Min-sik at the end of last year. Kim Min-sik’s side delivered feedback on the team’s terms of the contract in early January after a long period of consideration. However, SSG recently expressed its intention to “overpay” over the terms of the contract proposed by Kim Min-sik.
An SSG official told MK Sports over the phone on Jan. 9, “There is still a gap between the two sides. The terms of the amount given by the player are still very different from what our club thinks. We also need to consider the changes from when we proposed a multi-year contract a year ago. At that time, we were also taking risks, but now the player is out in the FA market, isn’t it? We intend not to overpay. However, the negotiations have not broken down, but we want to continue to wait for the player’s feedback. I hope our club will also end the negotiations as soon as possible,” he said.
Some view that Kim Min-sik requested unreasonable terms of the contract in consideration of the criteria for Kim Tae-gun (a total of 2.5 billion won for three years), a catcher of similar types. However, Kim Min-sik said he did not offer unreasonable terms.
Kim Min-sik said in a phone call with MK Sports on January 9, “I don’t think there is a significant gap between each other over the negotiation table as we are saying now. Considering the narrow gap in guaranteed amount, I think there is room for narrowing. As some say, we don’t want the size of Kim Tae-gun’s player-level contract. It will be solved if the two sides coordinate a little more over the guarantee money, but it’s a pity that there is a huge gap.”
He added, “Players always tend to approach cases where a similar type of player recently signed a contract. That’s natural. However, we analyzed Kim Min-sik’s use and role weight as objectively as possible in the future and tried to understand the club situation. As such, from the initial negotiations, we asked the player for consent for the contract amount to be discussed with the club, and we are negotiating from the beginning with that reference point.”
Kim Min-sik reiterated that he did not demand unreasonable terms of the contract. If you look at the case of KIA Tigers infielder Kim Sun-bin’s contract to stay in the FA, you may be misunderstood as a situation in which the player offered unreasonable terms until the contract amount was announced, when the guaranteed amount was disclosed.
Kim Min-sik said, “Regardless of the results of the negotiations, it is regrettable that there is a public opinion that Kim Min-sik is being overly greedy. We believe that there is a slight difference in opinion from each other and that there is still room for coordination. In any case, both sides have to keep working to stay, so I hope there is no misunderstanding in that regard, and I sincerely hope that Kim Min-sik is wearing a mask for the starting SSG home opener in the 2024 season.”
SSG did not declare a “breakdown of negotiations” over Kim Min-sik. In the end, SSG also needs veteran catcher Kim Min-sik to reduce the risk of catcher for one season. In order to “win-win” each other, unnecessary emotional fights should not occur. I wonder if the SSG club and Kim Min-sik will come up with a clue for a dramatic agreement within January.