Seo Kun-chang, the lowest salary since 200 hits + MVP… Cutting edge different from a year ago
Reporter Lee Sang-cheol = The annual salary of Seo Geon-chang (34), who gave up applying for a free agent (FA) for two consecutive years due to sluggish performance, was greatly reduced. The LG Twins club, which had unexpectedly raised a raise a year ago, also pulled out a ‘reduction’ knife this time.
Seo Kun-chang signed an annual salary of 200 million won for the 2023 season in negotiations with LG before leaving the US spring camp. The amount of 60 million won was cut from the annual salary of 260 million won in the 2022 season, which is the highest reduction in the LG team.
In addition, 200 million won is the lowest annual salary since Seo Kun-chang received an annual salary of 300 million won in 2014 after becoming the first player in the KBO league to achieve 200 hits (201). For a player who once represented the league, his pride is greatly damaged.
Seo Kun-chang’s cut was expected, but the negotiation temperature was quite different from a year ago.
In July 2021, after leaving Kiwoom Heroes in a trade with pitcher Jeong Chan-heon, Seo Geon-chang, wearing an LG uniform, failed to rebound, and the final performance was disappointing with a batting average of 0.253, 130 hits, 6 homers, 52 RBIs, 78 runs, on-base percentage of 0.350, and slugging percentage of 0.343. It was embarrassing. Because of this, Seo Kun-chang chose to stay at LG without exercising the free agency rights he had acquired for the first time in his life.
It seemed that LG would of course cut Seo Geon-chang’s annual salary, but unexpectedly presented an increase card. At the time, LG did not only consider the performance, but decided on the final increase of 35 million won by asking the opinion of Seo Geon-chang, whose FA strategy was twisted by the trade.
Ahead of the 2021 season, Seo Kun-chang voluntarily requested a reduction in negotiations with his former club, Kiwoom, and signed a contract for 225 million won, a cut of 125 million won from 350 million won. It was a plan to increase the possibility of transfer by receiving a B grade in the free agency market, but when he transferred to LG during the season, he became an A grade instead of a B grade, and in the end, Seo Kun-chang, whose burden increased, chose free agency again. LG reflected this in Seo Kun-chang’s 2022 season salary. 안전놀이터
After the end of the 2022 season, I was able to go out to the FA market again, but Seo Geon-chang gave up again. However, this time it was difficult for LG to present an impression card.
It was his worst performance since 2012. His batting average of .224 was the lowest in a season in which he played more than two games, and he produced just 49 hits. He also had poor other records, including on-base percentage (0.299) and slugging percentage (0.306).
Seo Kun-chang only played 77 games due to injuries and sluggishness in the 2022 season. At least in the 2021 season, considering that he played all the games (144 games), his contribution dropped significantly.
Seo Kun-chang is sweating in spring camp, promising to restore his honor in the 2023 season. It is a good thing for him that coach Yeom Gyeong-yeop, who was with Seo Geon-chang when he was at his brightest, took office as the new LG command tower.
Director Yeom promised to give Seo Geon-chang a chance while giving him full trust. If Seo Geon-chang catches Lee and rebounds, he will be able to spend a warm winter next time.