The Doosan Bears are actively negotiating with Yang Seok-hwan (32), one of the biggest names in free agency. On the evening of the 27th, Doosan sat down with Yang’s representatives for the first time. The Bears met with Yang’s agent, Lee Yerang of Ricoh Sports, once last week for a brief conversation unrelated to a contract, but on the 27th, the conversation turned serious.굿모닝토토 도메인
Doosan clearly communicated its desire to secure the center fielder at the first negotiation table. We talked about the current state of the free agent market, especially the moves of competing teams that might want Yang, to get a feel for the atmosphere, and then parted ways with the promise of the following.
On the afternoon of the 27th, Doosan reported to the group on its plans for the upcoming season, including free agent signings, and met with Mr. Lee the evening of the group’s report, which could be interpreted as Doosan being very active in signing Yang. If the amount of money that Yang’s side wants is not too far away from the amount that Doosan has set, the negotiations will naturally speed up.
A Doosan official who has been negotiating with Yang’s side said, “On the first day, we focused on getting a feel for the atmosphere, and we will have specific negotiations next. (Yang) Seok-hwan was our center fielder, so we told him exactly that we were interested. On the 29th, we will organize a general summary of the negotiations internally, and if possible, we will schedule another meeting this week.”
“We’re not in a situation where we’re going to continue to negotiate and adjust the amount of money with Seok-hwan Yang’s side. We have time to deliver what we need. If we’re going to sign him, we might as well do it quickly. He’s a player we need, so we’re going to be a little more aggressive,” he added, revealing plans to speed up negotiations.
Yang was traded from the LG Twins to the Doosan Bears before the start of the 2021 season. Doosan was struggling to fill the void left by the departure of Oh Jae-il (37, Samsung), their main first baseman at the time, and Yang’s arrival solved that problem once and for all.
In his three seasons with Doosan, Yang was the starting first baseman and center fielder. He hit 20 home runs three years in a row, quenching Doosan’s thirst for long balls. In 380 games for Doosan, he batted .267 (1417-for-379) with 69 home runs, 236 RBIs, and an OPS of 0.788. In his nine professional seasons, Lee has hit 122 home runs, more than half of them in his three years with Doosan.
Doosan manager Lee Seung-yeop recently told reporters, “The Stobrigue has started, and other teams have reinforced a lot. (Yang) Seok-hwan and (Hong) Gun-hee are in the market as free agents. I think they’ll stay and I think we’ll get a good deal,” he said, adding that he hoped Yang would stay.
The team’s main players were not far behind. “I hope Yang Seok-hwan stays with the team,” captain Heo Kyung-min and relief pitcher Yang Ji-ji told reporters at the 2023 KBO Awards Ceremony on Sunday.
The salary cap is not expected to be an issue. A Doosan official said in preparation for the stadium, “The salary cap is not something we can afford by signing (Yang). We don’t want to go over, but we have to make adjustments within that range. I think it will be possible (to stay within the salary cap) if we can reach an agreement with the player and allocate the amount of money,” he said positively.
For now, Doosan is moving with a strategy that avoids the long game. It will be interesting to see if they can finalize a deal sooner rather than later.