Kiwoom Heroes’ Lee Jung-hoo (25) is expected to sign a five-year, $50 million (approx. 65.6 billion won) contract.
On July 7 (KST), MLB TradeRumors released the free agent rankings and expected contract sizes for this offseason. Lee Jung-hoo, who is looking to make it to the major leagues this winter, is expected to sign a five-year, $50 million contract. He was ranked 15th in the free agent rankings.
Lee is one of the best hitters in South Korea with a career batting average of .344 (3476-for-1181) with 65 home runs, 515 RBIs and an OPS of .898 in 884 games in the KBO. Last season, he had a career-high season, batting 30-for-44 (193-for-553) with 23 home runs, 113 RBIs, and a .996 OPS in 142 games, winning five batting titles (batting average, on-base percentage, slugging percentage, on-base percentage, and RBIs) and the league MVP.
This year, after declaring for the major leagues, Lee’s season ended early due to injury. However, he still managed to impress major league scouts with a solid 86-game season in which he batted .318 (105-for-330) with six home runs, 45 RBIs, and an OPS of .861.
His move to the major leagues is already a foregone conclusion. For Kiwoom’s final home game, San Francisco general manager Pete Putilla personally visited Gocheok SkyDome to watch Lee’s final at-bat. Major league scouts have been visiting Lee throughout the season, starting with spring training. The interest from major league clubs in Lee is genuine. Fans are also focusing on the size of Lee’s contract, rather than the fact that he has reached the major leagues. 보스토토
MLB Trade Rumors estimated the size of Lee’s contract at five years and $50 million. San Diego and Toronto are the next two teams to sign him.
“Lee is a left-handed outfielder who turned 25 in August. He has posted a batting average over .300 every season and a slugging percentage near or above .400. He didn’t have a lot of power early in his career, but from 2020 to 2022, he had an on-base percentage over .500 every year.”
“Unfortunately for Lee, he had his worst season in his first year in the majors,” MLB Trade Rumors noted. “Lee suffered a left ankle injury in late July and underwent surgery, ending his season. At the time, the Kiwoom organization announced that Lee would need about three months to recover. The injury is not expected to affect his spring training next year.”