The biggest reason why Samsung finished the regular season in eighth place last year can also be found on the mound.
Samsung was the lowest among the 10 teams with an ERA of 4.60 last season. In particular, the bullpen pitcher lineup was in turmoil, as evidenced by its record of the most come-from-behind losses (38 losses) in the league. Compared to KT, which had the fewest come-from-behind losses in the league, with 20 losses, Samsung suffered almost twice as many come-from-behind losses, which inevitably had a huge impact. The team also had the lowest ERA in the bullpen at 5.16, and was the only team with an ERA of around five points.
Samsung was also aware of this reality. What Samsung manager Park Jin-man called the team’s weakness since the inauguration ceremony was the bullpen. At that time, Park even declared an open trade utilizing catchers, drawing attention. He displayed his strong commitment to strengthen the bullpen somehow. “As catcher Debs is thicker than other teams, a trade plan could be made,” manager Park Jin-man said. “I thought the team lacked bullpen. If conditions are right, I hope the team will make up for the shortfall.”
Without a trade, however, the regular season marked the beginning of the season, and concerns became a reality. As even Oh Seung-hwan, the “finalist,” was seen collapsing, Samsung’s bullpen was completely shaken up. Consequently, Samsung had to make a trade with Kiwoom from the beginning of the season. It acquired veteran infielder Lee Won-seok and pitcher Kim Tae-hoon by giving up the right to name a rookie. However, the situation did not necessarily improve for Samsung’s bullpen. As Kim Tae-hoon was also shaken to the seven-point ERA range (7.11), his bullpen has yet to stabilize.
Samsung, which eventually slumped to eighth place in the regular season, announced a new start under the leadership of Lee Jong-yeol, and Lee Jong-yeol also set the bullpen as the team’s No. 1 strength reinforcement. When the FA market opened, Samsung, which immediately embraced the league’s top-class closer by signing a four-year contract with Kim Jae-yoon, who kept KT’s back door, for a total of 5.8 billion won, succeeded in reinforcing the bullpen pitcher lineup by recruiting a two-year FA, including veteran right-hander Lim Chang-min, who played the role of a closer at Kiwoom last year.
Kim Jae-yoon, a former overseas player and turned catcher to pitcher, has been a proven closer in the league, with 30 saves for the past three consecutive years, and has played an active role with 5 wins, 5 losses, 32 saves and an ERA of 2.60 in 59 games last year. Lim Chang-min, who once played as NC’s closer, overcame the disappointment of two releases and joined Kiwoom last year, and succeeded in reviving with 2 wins, 2 losses, 26 saves, and 1 hold with an ERA of 2.51 in 51 games, allowing him to sign an FA contract.
It is not the only one. Samsung has started its internal crackdown in earnest by signing a seal with Kim Dae-woo, a side pitcher who is an internal FA resource. Samsung officially announced on the 8th that it has signed an FA contract with pitcher Kim Dae-woo. The contract period is two years, and the total amount of the contract is 400 million won (down payment of 100 million won, annual salary of 200 million won, incentive of 100 million won). Samsung explained, “Kim Dae-woo is an underhand pitcher who is lacking in Samsung, and we expect him to not only add diversity to the existing pitching staff, but also play in all weathers by going back and forth between starters.” 마카오토토
After completing his contract with Samsung as an FA, Kim Dae-woo said, “I’m happy to play baseball while listening to the cheering sound of Samsung Lions fans once again. As a senior player, I want to take responsibility and show my fans better performance and performance than before.” Kim has utility value in that he is an all-weather pitcher who can start as a starting pitcher as well as a bullpen.