Even a cut of 1 billion won could not reduce Choo Shin-soo (41, SSG Landers)’s position.
In the cold-hearted world of pros, ‘ransom’ means a lot. Salary is an indicator of a player’s value and self-esteem.
Shin-soo Choo plays for 1.7 billion won in the 2023 season. This is a whopping 1 billion won cut from last year’s 2.7 billion won.
It may hurt his pride, but Choo Shin-soo’s presence is still the greatest in the overall annual salary rankings. The 1.7 billion won Choo Shin-soo receives this year is the highest annual salary among players excluding free agents and multi-year contracts.
Last year, two years after entering the KBO League, Choo Shin-soo played 112 games in the aftermath of an elbow injury and recorded a batting average of 0.259, 16 homers, 58 RBIs, 77 points and 15 stolen bases. Although his individual performance was not satisfactory, he contributed to the team’s first combined championship.
At the end of last season, SSG caught Choo Shin-soo, who is known to have been contemplating his active retirement, and Choo Shin-soo challenged the third season of the KBO League.
Shin-soo Choo and Seung-hwan Oh (41, Samsung Lions), who are of the same age as him, also accepted a reduced salary.
Oh Seung-hwan received 1.4 billion won, down 200 million won from 1.6 billion won last year. However, if you meet the option of 300 million won according to your performance, you can receive up to 1.7 billion won this season.
Oh Seung-hwan recorded 6 wins, 2 losses, 2 holds, 31 saves, and an average ERA of 3.32 last season, but struggled amid great ups and downs. The team also finished 7th, failing to advance to fall baseball.
In response, Oh Seung-hwan announced his intention to entrust the club with a blank salary for the 2023 season, and the club set Oh’s annual salary after careful consideration.
His guaranteed annual salary has decreased from last year, but if Oh Seung-hwan recovers his skills this year, he can receive incentives as well as a restoration of his honor.
The name that attracted the most attention in the annual salary contract this winter was Lee Jung-hoo (25) of Kiwoom Heroes.
Lee Jung-hoo, who has been changing the record for the highest annual salary every year since 2019, the third year, receives an annual salary of 1.1 billion won this year, the ‘7th year’.
Excluding special circumstances such as free agency, multi-year contracts, and returning overseas players, Lee Jung-hoo is the first player in the KBO League to receive an annual salary of 1 billion won or more.
Lee Jung-hoo, who quickly established himself after entering the pro, drew a steep rise in his annual salary.
He received 230 million won in 2019, 390 million won in 2020, 550 million won in 2021, and 750 million won in 2022, setting the highest annual salary record for his 3rd to 6th years each time. This season, his 7th year, he opened a new history with 1.1 billion won.
Lee Ji-young (37) of Kiwoom signed an annual salary contract for the 2023 season for 500 million won and wrote the record for the highest annual salary in a single season.
Lee Ji-young, who signed a 3-year free agency contract with Kiwoom ahead of the 2020 season, his contract expired at the end of the 2022 season. Classified as a target for a general annual salary contract, he signed for 500 million won, an increase of 200 million won from last year (300 million won) when he signed as a free agent, signaling a new heyday.
Ko Woo-seok (25) of the LG Twins and Ko Young-pyo (32) of the KT Wiz each receive 430 million won this season. 안전놀이터
Go Woo-seok signed a contract with an annual salary of 430 million won, up 160 million won from 270 million won last year. Ko Young-pyo stamped for 430 million won, which is more than 130 million won from 300 million won last year.
There are also those who swallowed their regrets in the cold wind.
NC Dinos Park Seok-min (38) signed a contract for 50 million won, a 93% (650 million won) cut from 700 million won last year.
Park Seok-min, who signed a 4-year, up to 9.6 billion won FA contract with NC ahead of the 2016 season, renewed the contract for 2+1 years for up to 3.4 billion won after the 2020 season. And at the end of last season, the 7-year contract with NC was also concluded.
However, Park Seok-min, who was suspended for 72 games by the Korea Baseball Organization (KBO) for violating the corona quarantine rules during the 2021 season, only had a batting average of 0.149 and 2 RBIs in 16 games after returning from discipline last year, and could not avoid the all-time cold wave.
KT Kang Baek-ho (24), who wrote the highest annual salary tie (550 million won) for the fifth year last year, signed a contract for 290 million won, a 47.3% (260 million won) cut this year.
Meanwhile, the full salary rankings, including free agency and multi-year contracts, will be announced later through the Korea Baseball Organization (KBO).