Kia veteran duo Kim Tae-gun and Kim Sun-bin receive multi-year contracts for late-season performance
The KIA Tigers strengthened their lineup at the end of the first half of the season, which resulted in a solid mid-table finish. The acquisition of catcher Kim Tae-gun (34) in a one-for-one trade with infielder Ryu Ji-hyuk (Samsung Lions) was one of the most significant moves.
KIA acquired Kim Tae-gun on May 5 by sending infielder Ryu Ji-hyuk to Samsung. Kim made his KIA debut as a substitute against the Incheon SSG Landers on the same day, before settling in as the starting catcher on the sixth. Coincidentally, KIA went on a six-game winning streak from the 5th to the 12th, when Kim joined the team.
Kim had a hit in five straight games from the 6th to the 12th, when he started. Both the team and individual graphs were upward. There’s no better way to describe the effect of the signing.
Despite the solid results, KIA is not without concerns. That’s because of Kim Tae-gun and the future. Kim will become the second professional free agent after this season. Like Park Dong-won (now with the LG Twins) last year, KIA will have to consider signing Kim to a multi-year contract. The size of the contract will largely depend on whether he continues to perform well in the second half of the season.
Along with Kim Tae-gun, there are other talents who could attract attention with multi-year contracts. This is infielder Kim Sun-bin (34). Kim finished the first half of the season with a .290 batting average, 19 RBI, and 18 runs scored in 58 games. He has a career batting average of .301 since his debut in 2008. He signed a four-year, 4 billion won free agent contract with KIA ahead of the 2020 season.
Kim Sun-bin, who will be eligible for free agency for the second time after this season, could also sign a multi-year deal depending on his performance in the second half of the season. With the departure of Ryu Ji-hyuk, KIA’s immediate infield options are definitely weaker than before. Kim Sun-bin, who has been a consistent performer, is still very much a part of the team 메이저사이트.
These veteran hitters are now in their mid-30s, but they are still the core of the team. It will be interesting to see if their late-season surge can carry them through to next year and beyond.