Last winter, the catcher market, which heated up the professional baseball offseason, moved around Yang Eui-ji, who made a U-turn from NC to Doosan at 15.2 billion won in메이저놀이터 4+2 years, the highest ransom ever in FA history. In the aftermath of Yang Eui-ji’s transfer, free agent Park Se-hyuk, who was Doosan’s main catcher, wore an NC uniform.
Doosan gained strength in nurturing young pitchers with the addition of Yang Eui-ji, and made a new center in the batting line. NC is also fighting well beyond expectations for the new season, putting a safety device back in the home with Park Se-hyuk.
With the 2023 season in full swing, now there is one off-season scene that stands out even more than ‘Yang Eui-ji transfer’. This is the transfer of catcher Park Dong-won, who obtained FA qualification at KIA. This year’s regular season is the so-called ‘Park Dong-won butterfly effect’.
In April of last year when he was playing for Kiwoom, Park Dong-won was traded to KIA, which has a great catcher thirst, but broke the expectation that he would keep the KIA home for quite a long time and chose to go to LG in the offseason. In the process of his transfer, unofficial friction with his team’s manager was belatedly known.
At this time, Park Dong-won’s movement has a great influence on the new season as a result. At the time, LG, seeing that the KIA and Park Dong-won’s retention negotiations were not smooth, put off ‘Yoo Gang-nam’s retention negotiations’ as the next priority and made ‘Park Dong-won’s recruitment’ a priority. Also, according to the calculation, Park Dong-won was successfully recruited.
With the transfer of Park Dong-won, LG’s main catcher has changed. With the transfer of Yoo Kang-nam, Lotte’s main catcher also changed. Park Dong-won’s offseason transfer eventually reestablished the KIA main catcher during the season. Samsung, which had three catchers and had plenty of catcher resources, sent one of them, Kim Tae-gun, to KIA last week and recruited infielder Ryu Ji-hyeok.
‘Park Dong-won’s butterfly effect’ is in progress. LG added catcher Park Dong-won, who hit the home run, and raised the offense, which was already at the top level, to the extreme. As of the 8th, LG’s team OPS is 0.772, which is by far the 1st. A figure well above the league average of 0.703. Among them, Park Dong-won ranks first in the team with a season OPS of 0.895. LG is scheduled to end the first half as the leader of the regular season, but it seems that the current race would not have been easy without the firepower of Park Dong-won, who delivered decisive long hits at every critical moment.
KIA, which tried to satisfy its catcher thirst by recruiting Park Dong-won, but only grew thirstier after the offseason, is running into the midsummer race holding the hand of new main catcher Kim Tae-gun after twists and turns. Once the positive signal came in hard.
From the 5th, when Kim Tae-gun transferred, until the 8th, KIA has won 4 consecutive wins. The team’s ERA in 4 games is also stable at 2.00. KIA, which ‘reset’ up to two foreign pitchers and drastically adjust the battery, created an atmosphere in which it can ride the trend of a great rebound. The high ground facing 3rd place Doosan with a gap of 4 games is not that far away.
Samsung, which reorganized the infield, is also affected by the ‘Park Dong-won butterfly effect’. What kind of story will Ryu Ji-hyuk write at Samsung after crossing the Sobaek Mountains due to KIA’s home wind?