The Hanwha Eagles, who were humiliated at the bottom for three consecutive years, recruited three off-season free agents from outside.
Hanwha, which recruited three outside free agents ahead of the 2015 season, is aiming to leap to the middle ranks as well as escape from the bottom by reinforcing the ‘three outside free agents’ again after 8 years.
Hanwha, which was at the bottom (9th place) in 2014, replaced the head coach ahead of the 2015 season and recruited coach Kim Seong-geun. And they recruited three outside free agents to reinforce their strength. He signed a four-year contract with Bae Young-soo, who led the Samsung dynasty, for 2.15 billion won, and a four-year, 3.2 billion won contract with Kwon Hyuk. And Song Eun-beom, who became a free agent at KIA, was recruited for 3 years and 3.4 billion won.
Hanwha, which was in last place for three consecutive years from 2012 to 2014, reinforced its pitching staff as coach Kim Seong-geun requested. At times, the number of pitchers who can play ‘Kim Seong-geun Baseball’, which is an advantage of pitcher management and bee mounds, is increased to the extent that it is seen as ‘excessive work’.
Hanwha, which went all-in on pitching, created a sensation in 2015 with the leadership of manager Kim Seong-geun. By the middle of the season, they were on the verge of advancing to the postseason, but at the end of the season, due to the players’ physical decline, they finished in 6th place. Still, the ranking rebounded from the bottom of the previous year to 6th, and Hanwha fans were excited with ‘Marijuana’ baseball.
Hanwha ranked last for three consecutive years again from 2020 to 2022. During the 2020 season, coach Han Yong-deok resigned, and Choi Won-ho, acting manager, finished in 10th place. Afterwards, the foreign coach Subero was recruited and the rebuilding began, and the rankings for the past two years remained at the bottom.
In the offseason, Hanwha had a front reorganization such as general manager. Hanwha, which received financial support from its parent company, signed Chae Eun-seong, a mid-to-long-distance hitter who can be an outfielder and first baseman in the FA market, for 6 years and 9 billion won. Then, pitcher Lee Tae-yang, who had been sent away in a trade, was brought back with a 4-year, 2.5 billion won free agent contract. And infield utility Oh Seon-jin was signed with a 1+1 year 400 million won contract. We have finished recruiting up to three free agents from outside.
In the trade market, the pitcher, outfield, and infield were evenly reinforced by giving away prospect Woo-hyuk Byun and bringing in KIA Fireballer pitcher Seung-hyuk Han. Last year’s special rookie Moon Dong-ju is preparing for the first full-time season with a healthy body, and Kim Seo-hyun, the first overall rookie, also joined.
However, it will not be as easy as it was in 2015. In 2015, KT, the 10th team, joined the first team for the first time, and took the lowest place with the weak power of the new team. 메이저놀이터
There is no such variable this year. And last year’s lower-tier teams are all aiming for a counterattack by reinforcing their strength. Doosan, which ranked ninth last year, appointed catcher Yang Eui-ji for 15.2 billion won in six years while appointing new manager Lee Seung-yeop. Foreign pitcher Alcantara, who advanced to Nippon Professional Baseball with 20 wins, was also re-recruited.
Lotte, who was in 8th place, invested more money than Hanwha and recruited three free agents. Lotte signed catcher Gangnam Yoo for 8 billion won for 4 years, shortstop No Jin-hyeok for 5 billion won for 4 years, and recently pitcher Hyun-hee Han for up to 4 billion won for 3+1 years, signing up to three new players. The catcher and shortstop, which were the biggest concerns, were reinforced, and a sidearm pitcher who could be both a starter and a bullpen was brought in.
In 7th place Samsung, infielders Kim Sang-soo and Oh Seon-jin left the team, but all three foreigners who recorded outstanding results last year renewed their contracts. If key players such as Ja-wook Koo and Jeong-hyeon Baek, whose grades went down due to injuries and sluggishness, recover their averages, they can jump into the competition for the top 5.
Only 6th place NC has a clear power outflow as Yang Eui-ji and Noh Jin-hyuk left as free agents.
Hanwha has recruited three free agents, but Ha Joo-seok, the main shortstop, must be suspended for 70 games for drunk driving. Last year, foreign pitchers rotated and produced the worst results due to injuries, but the effect of foreign players should be expected.
Hanwha must escape at least at the bottom. If they end up at the bottom of the leaderboard again this year, they will be disgraced at the bottom for four consecutive years for the first time since the team was founded.