Kim Min-sung traded to LG TwinsOne of the last remaining free agents (FAs) in Korean baseball joined a new club in a sign-and-trade on Tuesday.
Kim’s deal is worth 1.8 billion won ($1.6 million), including a 300-million-won signing bonus. In return for the 30-year-old infielder, the Heroes received 500 million won.
The Twins will now be on the hook for Kim’s salary, though they didn’t have to pay the extra compensation they would have incurred if they’d signed Kim as an FA.
Signing an FA in the KBO comes with a hefty price tag - the club must pay the player’s former team twice the amount of his previous salary and either send an unprotected player or else pay that club three times the player’s salary from the previous season.
Kim earned 350 million won last year.
He had been the last remaining FA. Entering his 13th season, Kim spent the past nine years with the Heroes. A solid defender with some gap power at the plate, Kim batted .283 with 10 home runs, 45 RBIs and 24 doubles in 128 games last year.
Throughout his career, Kim has a .278 batting average with 99 home runs and 528 RBIs in 1,177 games.
Right-hander Noh Kyung-eun is the only player still unsigned in the open market. After talks with his original club, Lotte Giants, fell through in late January, Noh left for the United States in search of a new opportunity there.
This year was an unusual one for FAs in Korea, as the majority of teams were unwilling to splash out on new players. Following the recent success of clubs well known for spending little and concentrating on player development such as the Doosan Bears and Heroes, some FAs took months to find a new position or return to their old one, a process that normally takes a matter of weeks.