‘Busan-bound’ Kim Min-sung “Bringing the winning spirit to Lotte…thank you LG”
Veteran infielder Kim Min-sung, 35, reiterated his “gratitude” after joining the Lotte Giants of the Korean Baseball Organization in a sign-and-trade deal.
“I’m really grateful for the consideration of the LG Twins and the interest of the Lotte team,” Kim told Yonhap News Agency on Saturday, adding, “I received a lot of support from LG and built good memories. Lotte, where I started my professional career, gave me a good offer. I am very grateful to both organizations.”
On the same day, LG and Lotte announced the sign-and-trade almost simultaneously.
Kim Min-sung was traded to Lotte after signing a three-year contract (2+1 years) for a total of 900 million won (200 million won in down payment, 500 million won in annual salary, and 200 million won in options) with LG.
Lotte traded infielder Kim Min-soo (25) to LG and signed Kim Min-sung.
The deal was finalized after a complicated process in which Kim and Lotte negotiated salaries, and Lotte and LG agreed on the terms of the trade.
Kim is a Class B free agent. The compensation scale for Grade B players is 100% of the previous year’s salary plus one player outside of the 25 protected players or 200% of the previous year’s salary.
Lotte signed Kim Min-sung in a sign-and-trade format, reducing the pressure on ‘compensation’.
“My heart was heavy because I couldn’t complete the contract as the start of spring training approached,” Kim said, “LG also made me a good offer, but considering my situation, they opened the way for me to go to Lotte. I am grateful to Mr. Cha Myung-seok and other LG officials.”
Last year, Kim Min-sung was a “key player in the unified championship,” as LG manager Yoon Kyung-yeop recognized.
As LG’s infielders departed at the beginning of the season, Kim filled the gaps of his teammates by moving between first, second, third, and shortstop.
“Coach Yeom gave me the opportunity to play in different positions,” he says. I really wanted to win, and it was an honor to be a part of LG’s first championship in 29 years,” he said, adding, “I have nothing but gratitude for LG.”
Kim began his professional career in 2007 when he was drafted 13th overall in the second round by Lotte.
He was traded to the Nexen Heroes (now Kiwoom) in July 2010 and became eligible for free agency at the end of the 2018 season.
At the time, Kim still wore the LG jersey through a sign-and-trade.
Kim signed a three-year contract with Kiwoom for a total of 1.8 billion won, including a 300 million won signing bonus, a 400 million won annual salary, and a 100 million won annual option.
LG inherited the terms of these free agent contracts and traded Kim for $500 million in cash to Kiwoom.
“I’m happy that I was able to finalize my contract in some form and continue my playing career,” Kim said, “I’m grateful for both contracts.” The two free agency deals were finalized by signing and trading.
Kim Min-sung returned to Lotte after 13 years and six months in July 2010.
Lotte hasn’t won a championship since 1992. They have the longest championship drought of any KBO club.
“I put on the Lotte uniform as an adult, and now I’m a veteran,” Kim said. When I was a rookie, I was just excited, but now I feel a heavy responsibility.” “I quenched my thirst for winning with LG last year. However, I am still thirsty to win. I want to bring ‘winning energy’ to Lotte.”
Lotte is preparing to take a leap forward in the 2024 season with the signing of “championship hitter” Kim Tae-hyung.
“I’ve never played in the same team as Kim Tae-hyung, but I know what his style is,” Kim said, adding, “I will be a player that fits the baseball he is pursuing. I want to make Lotte fans feel better about the loss of promising prospect Kim Min-soo with good performances.”
On the 31st, Kim will depart for Guam, where the spring training field is set up, with his Lotte teammates.
“It’s great to start the spring training together,” he said, “I feel both the responsibility of being a player of the popular Lotte team and the pride of being a player of LG, which won the championship last year. I will do my best to train and show good form throughout the contract period.”