When he leaves, his true value is revealed. Veteran infielder Kim Min-sung (36) is the case. He wished for a bright future while looking at each other while parting ways. They will change their uniforms but smile and meet again at Jamsil or Sajik.
The five-year companionship has ended. LG and Lotte announced the signing and trade of Kim Min-sung on Wednesday. Free agents Kim Min-sung and LG signed a two-plus-year, 700 million won guaranteed, up to 900 million won FA contract, and LG sent Kim Min-sung to Lotte, receiving Kim Min-soo (26), a promising infield player.
Until a week ago, Kim Min-sung was most likely to remain in LG. He had already looked for a sign and trade once, but the conditions did not match. It was a flow of LG signing a two-year, 500 million won contract that Kim Min-sung proposed. Although Kim Min-sung hoped to increase the size of the contract, LG did not change its position due to the salary cap issue. Instead, he guaranteed to train as a leader after retirement.
However, the recent situation has changed rapidly as the camp is just around the corner. Lotte, who had previously discussed the contract, has set up a negotiation table again. Lotte handed over the upgraded terms of the contract. And LG and Lotte matched the trade cards. The details were adjusted from the night of the 25th to the morning of the 26th, and a second signing and trade was made this winter. The first is the signing and trade of Lee Ji-young between Kiwoom and SSG.
After the signing and trade announcement, Cha Myung-seok, general manager of LG, said, “I think it’s a good thing for each other. I couldn’t offer Kim a better condition because of various reasons, including salary cap. There could be a young infielder who needs to be trained in the future,” adding, “So I opened an autograph and trade for Kim. After the contract was concluded, Kim said thank you. We were also grateful to Kim for the past five years.”
Turning the clock back five years, Cha’s first mission was to recruit Kim Min-sung. At that time, Cha’s first task was to fill the hot corner that became Muju-gongsan with Yang Seok-hwan’s enlistment in the military. Cha looked into recruiting and trading FA, and then completed signing and trading of Kim Min-sung. He signed a three-year, 1.8 billion won contract with FA Kim Min-sung, who failed to reach a contract with his former team Nexen. The trade return benefit was 500 million won in cash.
Kim Min-sung, who wore a pin-strip uniform ahead of the 2019 season, firmly defended his hot corner as expected. He had a downward spiral at bat from the 2021 season, but as Moon Bo-kyung, a rookie in his third year, took off, generational change naturally took place as the starting third baseman took off. He has always been an example by leading younger players with extraordinary leadership. As a backup player, he has always been faithful to his training and routine.
In 2023, when Kim won the title overall, he filled in the gap of shortstop Oh Ji-hwan’s injury in the early part of the season. Afterwards, he served as an infield position including second, third and first base. During the Hangzhou Asian Games, he started again as a starting third baseman in line with Moon Bo-kyung’s joining the national team. He is Kim Min-sung, who played a significant role in the process of winning the title.
Kim Min-sung, who became an FA for the second time, came to the market. He considered staying at LG, but on the other hand, he had no choice but to consider his value and opportunity as a player. At LG, he is more likely to play as a backup as he has done in the past three years. On the other hand, Lotte is expected to have more opportunities to play than LG. 꽁머니환전
It was the last FA contract, but Lotte also doubled the size of the contract. Regarding the 200 million won incentive, agent Kim Min-sung said, “It is a level that can be achieved without a major injury. The Lotte club has been considerate enough to achieve it even if it does not come out as the main player in every game.” Lotte has come up with an alternative to Ahn Chi-hong, the second baseman who left for Hanwha through Kim Min-sung, who returned to Lotte after 14 years.