‘Sign & Trade’ is unappealing… General Manager Cha Myung-seok “The salary cap is a bit tight”

LG Twins’ power reinforcement is only the recruitment of a ‘foreign hitter’ at this point. Because of the salary cap, the recruitment of domestic players is likely to end with FA catcher Park Dong-won. Signing & trading is expected to be difficult to even attempt.

LG’s off-season is full of negatives. Catcher Yoo Kang-nam (4 years, 8 billion won) and 4th hitter Chae Eun-seong (6 years, 9 billion won) left for Lotte and Hanwha, respectively, after obtaining FA qualifications. Lee Hyeong-jong (4 years, 2 billion won), who became a Futures League FA, moved to Kiwoom, and Han Seok-hyun (1 year, 39 million won) to NC. Cha Woo-chan, Lee Sang-ho, and Kim Ho-eun were excluded from the reserve list and released.

Plus recruited FA catcher Park Dong-won (4 years, 6.5 billion won). Pitchers Yun Ho-sol (former Hanwha) and Kim Yoo-young (former Lotte) were brought in as compensation players for free agency transfer students, but on the contrary, left-hander Pil Seung-jo Kim Dae-yu was sent to KIA as a compensation player.

Everything is due to the ‘salary cap’ that will be introduced from next year. LG could not meet the demands of Yoo Kang-nam and 메이저놀이터 Chae Eun-seong without passing the salary cap. Chae Eun-seong could not catch even though the difference in amount was not large.

General manager Cha Myung-seok said, “The salary cap is a bit tight right now.” Additional recruiting is unsatisfactory. The upper limit of the salary cap system (the total amount of the top 40 players in annual salary by club), which will be implemented from 2023, is 11,426.38 million won.

The total amount of LG’s top 40 annual salaries in 2022 was 10.532 billion won. There is about 900 million won. Players who missed the offseason (Chae Eun-seong, Yoo Gang-nam, Lee Hyung-jong, Cha Woo-chan, Lee Sang-ho, Kim Dae-yu, Kim Ho-eun, etc.) have an annual salary of about 1.2 billion won.

As a new player, free agency Park Dong-won (down payment of 2 billion won, total annual salary of 4.5 billion won) next year’s salary cap amount will be at least 1 billion won even if the annual salary is set high in the second half of the contract. Even if the annual salary of the players who will be included in the top 40 players, instead of the 7-8 who left, is set at 50 million won, it will be 400 million won.

We are negotiating the salary with the contract renewal targets, but we need to negotiate with the salary cap in mind. Ahead of the 2022 season, LG raised a total of 69 million won in annual salary increases for 46 contract renewals (excluding FA contracts). There were some players who were raised and some players who were significantly reduced, so there was no big change in the total amount.

This winter is different. There are many players who will receive high marks and a significant salary increase while finishing second in the regular season this year. With players such as Ko Woo-seok, Jung Woo-young, Kim Yun-sik, Moon Bo-kyung, Moon Seong-joo, and Lee Jae-won, etc., an increase of at least 600-700 million won is expected. As General Manager Cha said, the salary cap is in the middle of the contract renewal negotiations.

Only foreign batters who are not included in the salary cap remain vacant. LG recruited Almonte as a foreign hitter, but withdrew the contract agreement after failing to pass the medical test. We are looking for a new foreign hitter.

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