There is no place in the country… Kang Ri-ho failed contract with all clubs

February 3, 2023 0 Comments

Lotte Giants left-handed pitcher Kang Ri-ho (before renaming Kang Yoon-gu, 32, photo), who remained as a ‘missing FA’, is actually leaving the KBO league. He is turning his eyes to overseas leagues as contracts with all domestic clubs, including Lotte, have failed.

Kang Ri-ho said in a phone call with the International Newspaper on the 2nd, “So far, I have failed to join all 10 KBO clubs.” I want to play in overseas leagues such as Taiwan,” he said.

Kang Ri-ho obtained FA status last year. The reason he applied for his free agency was because he wanted to end his life as a ‘one-point relief’. He explained, “I lost my confidence and was ashamed to go down the mound after dealing with only certain hitters.” Kang Ri-ho recorded 21 and ⅓ innings in 29 games last year with an ERA of 5.48. He had no ‘FA Lloyd (FA + steroids)’ that made good grades right before applying for FA.메이저놀이터

Because of this, Lotte held off the FA application from the beginning, but he took a firm stand. This is because the team that took him because he was grade C only had to compensate Lotte for 150% of the previous year’s annual salary. His annual salary last year was 73 million won. He judged that he was competitive enough.

But the reality was grim. According to Kang Ri-ho, all nine clubs other than Kiwoom did not make a recruitment offer to him because of the ‘salary cap’. Kiwoom was the only one who showed interest in him, but as a result of the club’s internal review, the opinion to recruit a ‘young player’ was strong, and even this was unsuccessful.

He also had hopeful moments. The parent team, Lotte, once again reached out to Kang Ri-ho. He offered a one-year contract with the same salary as last year. Last year, Lotte sent left-hander Kim Yoo-young to LG while bringing in Yoo Gang-nam as a free agent. Veteran Cha Woo-chan and rookie Lee Tae-yeon joined, but this was in consideration of the team’s lack of left-handed bullpen resources.

However, the issue of ‘holding rights’ got in the way. Kang Ri-ho demanded that he release his right to reserve free agency after the end of his one-year contract, even if it means lowering his salary, but the club did not accept it. If you look at the KBO rules, you have to work in the regular season for 4 years after exercising your free agent rights to get your free agent again. In the case of a one-year contract like Kang Ri-ho, the club has the right to reserve free agency for three years. He confessed, “I couldn’t accept the offer because I felt like I would be dragged around by the club, such as standing on the mound as a one-pointer for four years.”

Kang Ri-ho has not been able to find contact with the Lotte club for over a week. Accordingly, he is expanding his horizons to overseas leagues such as Taiwan, Japan, and Australia. He said, “I don’t think there is any place to stand in the KBO league anymore.”

Meanwhile, including Kang Ri-ho, Jeong Chan-heon (Kiwoom), Kwon Hee-dong and Lee Myung-ki (above NC), all four remain as free agent contracts. Among them, Jeong Chan-heon was put up for sale by Kiwoom as a ‘sign and trade’, making it easy to transfer to another team, and Lee Myung-gi and Kwon Hee-dong are also negotiating with the original team, NC.

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