LG acquired right-handed starting pitcher Choi Won-tae, 26, in a trade with Kiwoom on Monday. The deal also included prospects Lee Ju-hyung, pitcher Kim Dong-gyu, and a first-round draft pick in 2024. Industry insiders are in awe, calling it “a major league-style trade that is rarely seen in the KBO.”

LG’s strategy is simple. It wants to win the championship this year, no matter what. LG has been a consistent contender for the last two to three years. They’ve had the talent to do so, and their regular-season results have been consistently top-tier, but they’ve always been one step short, and now their main players are getting older. With so little ‘golden time’ left, it’s clear that this year’s team is determined to win.

As of the 31st, LG is 53-33-2 (.616) with a 2.5-game lead over second-place SSG. However, the mound hasn’t been performing up to par. While the bullpen uncertainty has been somewhat filled by other players, the lack of success from homegrown starter Kim Yoon-sik and Lee Min-ho has not been easily answered. With even foreign ace Casey Kelly inconsistent, a quality starting pitcher was essential to winning the regular season and challenging for the Korean Series title. Choi Won-tae is that puzzle.

Since being drafted by Kiwoom (then Nexen) in the first round in 2015 out of Seoul High, Choi has been a solid starter. He won 67 games in the KBO, including three straight years of double-digit wins from 2017 to 2019. He has struggled a bit in recent years, but has rebounded nicely this year with a 7-4 record and 3.07 ERA in 18 games. In his LG debut against the Jamsil Doosan on March 30, he lived up to his team’s expectations with a six-inning, two-hit shutout.

While it’s clear that Choi Won-tae will be an absolute boon to LG’s power and organization, this trade is also one that has many in the industry speculating about LG’s future moves. Having not won a Korean Series title since 1994, it’s already been well documented that LG is “all in” on winning. The question is what comes next, whether they win or not. Industry insiders are curious about the math surrounding Choi Won-tae, which can be quite complex.

Choi has already fulfilled his military obligation and will be eligible for free agency after next season, assuming he stays healthy and injury-free. He has a year and a half of service time left with LG. If the team wants to lock him up before he hits the free agent market, they can sign him to a non-free agent multi-year contract after this season.

Choi will be eligible for free agency before his age-28 season. With the league struggling to find good homegrown starters, Choi’s track record and age make him a highly sought-after commodity. The trade gives LG one more chance to acquire Choi than other teams. Having an exclusive opportunity after this season, when other teams have limited bids, is pretty big.

For LG, giving up a prospect package and only having Choi for a year and a half may feel like a waste, regardless of whether they win the championship or not. This is why everyone speculates that LG may have outlined a multi-year deal and future contracts with Choi. However, there are many in the industry who believe that LG’s salary cap issues and market conditions make it difficult to say for sure.

LG has a number of high-paid employees, including Kim Hyun-soo, Oh Ji-hwan, and Park Dong-won. With the introduction of the salary cap, they don’t have much room to maneuver. As of the start of the 2023 season, the total salary of the top 28 players is 6.542 billion won, which is not a small amount. Add to that the fact that several key players, including Ham Deok-ju and Go Woo-seok, will be eligible for free agency in the future, and it’s clear that managing the salary cap won’t be easy.

There are actually several ways to get around the salary cap. The most common is to push the salary to the back of the contract, but it’s also possible to combine contracts with other players to create a large gap in salary between odd and even years. If you’re determined to win, you can even pay a penalty for a year or so if you don’t win. The club’s will. However, there is nothing the club can do about Choi Won-tae’s will.

“If Choi Won-tae is on the market, there will be a lot of teams. Many teams will consider signing him.” “There are not many starting free agent pitchers with his qualifications. It might be beneficial for him to be on the market,” he said. The implication is that if you’re confident in your skills and performance, it’s in your best interest to stay on the market and compete for a multi-year deal.토토사이트

The biggest name on the market is undoubtedly Lee Jung-hoo (Kiwoom), but he has already announced his intention to play in the major leagues, making him a “painting in progress” for other teams. However, Choi Won-tae, who has been relatively quiet about the issue, is an immediate possibility. Other teams are understandably hoping that Choi doesn’t sign with LG in advance.

Regardless, LG rolled the dice and went all-in to win. It’s a risky move for LG, which hasn’t been ultimately successful in the past. It’s not easy to predict the future, but regardless of the outcome, you have to admire the determination of the process. It will be interesting to see if LG’s decision can lead to a happy ending that kills all the bunnies.

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