“If we decide to add Lee Jeong-hoo to the lineup, it will help offset the trade of Juan Soto.”
The leading team in the race to recruit Lee Jeong-hoo (25, Kiwoom Heroes) is the San Francisco Giants. Since the spring camp in Arizona last February, his sincerity towards Lee Jeong-hoo has been unusual. An away visit to Gwangju at the end of June, and a surprise visit by general manager Pete Putilla before his return. It’s definitely different from other clubs. The San Francisco media also accepts Lee Jung-hoo’s participation in the recruitment campaign as a fait accompli.
The most likely team to stop the San Francisco trend is, of course, Kim Ha-seong’s San Diego Padres. KBS commentator Park Chan-ho, who is also a special advisor to San Diego, spoke to San Diego about Lee Jung-hoo during his visit to Kiwoom spring camp in February, and said that San Diego was also interested.
The East Village Times predicted on the 28th (Korean time) that San Diego would trade Juan Soto and attempt to recruit Lee Jeong-hoo to strengthen the outfield. It also seems like a foregone conclusion that San Diego will trade Soto, whose annual salary is expected to be about $33 million next year.
It makes no sense for San Diego, which is trying to reduce the team payroll by about $50 million, to give Soto $33 million. If you become a free agent a year later, you will have to give it up empty-handed. Soto was traded to San Diego in the summer of 2022 after rejecting the Washington Nationals’ 15-year, $440 million (approximately 597.5 billion won) extension contract.
A San Diego official told the East Village Times, “We are interested in Lee Jung-hoo. He is talented. “He is discussing it internally.” The East Village Times said, “If San Diego decides to add Jeong-hoo Lee to the lineup, it will help offset Soto’s trade.”
Just because San Diego has set a pay cut policy does not mean that it will rebuild. If they send Soto out, they get something in return, but there is no guarantee that they will reinforce the outfield. Therefore, it is not strange that Lee Jeong-hoo is recruiting. Unlike Yoshinobu Yamamoto (Oryx Buffaloes), there is almost no talk of the actual $100 million. For San Diego, even if they pay a posting fee to Kiwoom, the recruitment of Lee Jeong-hoo can be interpreted as a cost-effective contract.
San Diego watched Ha-seong Kim’s adaptation and growth in the major league. Lee Jeong-hoo is also classified as a team that can wait long enough. The East Village Times said, “It may take time for Lee Jeong-hoo’s numbers to be replicated in the United States, but he has had more walks than strikeouts for five consecutive years. “I’m not a home run hitter, but I have no problem catching up with fastballs.”
In addition, the East Village Times said of Lee Jeong-hoo’s defensive ability, “He is a plus defender who can play center field. He has plus speed and a decent arm. I’m 25 years old. “I have faith that he will improve his performance step by step.” Center field is also a weak position for San Diego.스포츠토토
However, the East Village Times did not guarantee San Diego’s victory in the recruiting battle for Lee Jung-hoo. “It remains to be seen whether San Diego will pay the highest price. “The presence of Kim Ha-seong gives him an advantage in recruiting Lee Jeong-hoo, but it is unknown whether San Diego is the team that will offer the most advantageous conditions or not.”