KT Wiz’s homework ‘House Rabbit’ crackdown… Only Hwang Jae-gyun is left.

KT third baseman Hwang Jae-gyun. Reporter Park Jin-up [email protected]


[스포츠서울 | 김민규기자]The most important task during KT Wiz’s offseason is crackdown on ‘house rabbits’. In KT, 3rd baseman Hwang Jae-gyun (34) and catcher Jang Seong-woo (32) obtained free agent qualifications, but Jang Seong-woo chose to stay, and it is an atmosphere that has overcome a hurdle. Now only Hwang Jae-gyun remains.

Hwang Jae-gyun and Jang Seong-woo are key players who led KT to the combined championship this year. Considering that it is difficult to find replacement players inside, this is a resource that KT should grab. Fortunately, Jang Seong-woo caught it. The contract period is 4 years, a down payment of 1.8 billion won, a total annual salary of 2 billion won, and a total of 4.2 billion won including options up to 400 million won.

Now, the biggest focus is on third baseman Hwang Jae-gyun. Hwang Jae-gyun is the captain of ‘Team KT’ this season and is the first person to lead the founding champion. In the regular season, he also proved that he was a third baseman with a batting average of 0.291, 10 home runs, 132 hits and 56 RBIs. Needless to say, it is an essential power for KT to maintain its power for next season’s ‘V2’.

Hwang Jae-gyun got his first free agent qualification after the 2017 season and formed a relationship with KT. At that time, KT gave a total of 8.8 billion won over four years, revealing expectations for Hwang Jae-gyun. Hwang Jae-gyun batted 0.297, 308 RBIs and 336 runs, including 76 home runs, during his four seasons with KT. He played an average of 130 games a year, hitting 20 home runs and 80 RBIs. There is no doubt that he is a third baseman with both offense and defense. Hwang Jae-gyun, who has a premium of winning the combined championship in addition to his good skills, wants KT to treat him without disappointment.

Compared to other FA third basemen, Kyung-Min Huh signed a 7-year, 8.5 billion won (US$2.5 million) contract with Doosan last year (2.5 billion won + 4-year annual salary of 4 billion won, 3 years and 2 billion won if remaining on the team). Kyung-min Huh, the ‘national team third baseman’, scored a batting average of 0.278 this season, his first year in the free agency, with five home runs and 59 RBIs. Choi Jeong-eun, who became a free agent in 2018, made a mark of up to 10.6 billion won (down payment of 3.2 billion won + 6-year annual salary of 6.8 billion won + options 600 million won). Choi Jeong-eun showed off her destructive power with 97 home runs, 295 RBIs and a batting average of 0.280 for three seasons after signing an FA contract.

Currently, KT and Hwang Jae-gyun are reported to be having a smooth conversation. Lee Soong-yong, head of KT, said, “The conversation (with Hwang Jae-gyun) is going smoothly and we are working hard to finish it in December.” “The atmosphere is also very positive.”

In order for KT to maintain its power to be reborn as a ‘dynasty’ with the achievement of ‘V2’ next year, Hwang Jae-gyun’s departure must be prevented. Interest is focused on whether KT, who took a breather due to Jang Seong-woo’s remaining, can completely solve the homework task of cracking down on ‘house rabbits’ by catching Hwang Jae-gyun.
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