It’s no exaggeration to say that the atmosphere of becoming a ‘gambler’ after winning a big contract is gone in the KBO.
In the past, free agents were given four years and an astronomical amount of money, and in the first year, they often failed to live up to expectations and left fans scratching their heads.
That’s because it used to take 10 years (now 8) to qualify for free agency, and many players were college graduates, meaning they didn’t get their first contract until their mid-30s, well past their prime. Add to that the fact that players’ lifespans were shorter than they are now, and there was a sense that they were getting a big payday.
But that’s changed now. Players can reach free agency sooner, and if they take care of themselves, they can stay active well into their 40s, making it possible for them to get big contracts in their second free agency.
It’s also important to take pride in your performance and career. With the development of the internet, players can easily check their records and are motivated to reach for higher heights, and a true sense of professionalism has been instilled in them.
In fact, most of the players who have recently signed big contracts have been working hard from the first year of their long-term contracts. Especially when they change uniforms and play for a new team, they are more motivated to showcase themselves to the fans.
Doosan Yang-ji and Hanwha Chae-eun-sung are two of the most prominent examples of ‘hyeja’ signings this season.
Yang Ji, who was a key player in the NC’s first championship, returned to his hometown team Doosan after four years. After signing a massive four-year, 12.5 billion won contract in his first free agency, Yang signed a six-year, 15.2 billion won contract ahead of this season, making him one of the most successful players in KBO history.
To date, Yang is batting .303 with four home runs and 22 RBIs to lead the Doosan lineup. It’s a jaw-dropping performance considering he’s in his mid-30s and plays the physically demanding position of catcher.
Chae Eun-sung, who signed a six-year contract with Hanwha for a total of 9 billion won, is also cruising. Not only does she serve as the team’s center fielder and bring the heat at crucial moments, but she also has a senior role to play in a team with so many young players 스포츠토토.
We can’t forget about Park Min-woo, who has a de facto lifetime contract with the NC. Park signed an eight-year, 14 billion won non-free agent contract last winter. Despite being guaranteed a very long period of time to file for free agency on two separate occasions, Park’s sophisticated bat is still spinning and proving that the big-money club was not wrong.