‘Day of Destiny’ brightened… ‘Posting deadline D-1’ Ko Woo-seok, LG for one more year? ML challenge?

Ko Woo-suk (LG Twins), who passed the year, only has one day.

The Korea Baseball Organization (KBO) said on November 28 last year, “We asked the Major League Secretariat to post Ko Woo-suk to 30 Major League Baseball (MLB) clubs at the request of LG’s team.”

Then, on the 5th of last month, the MLB Secretariat informed 30 MLB clubs that it had announced its intention to post Ko Woo-suk as of December 4th (U.S. Eastern Time). MLB clubs interested in recruiting under the Korea-U.S. player contract agreement can start negotiations at 8 a.m. on December 5th (U.S. Eastern Time).

Ko and 30 Major League teams are given 30 days, and the contract deadline is 5 p.m. on Jan. 3, 2024 (at 7 a.m. on Jan. 4 in Korean time). If he fails to reach a conclusion by then, he will have to wear the LG uniform again this year following last year.헤라카지노

Ko Woo-suk, who joined LG with his first nomination in 2017, is one of the “fire bowlers” representing the team and the league with 19 wins, 26 losses, 6 ⅓ innings, and 139 saves and an ERA in 354 games and 368 36 innings from his first year of joining to this year. In particular, he was responsible for the back door of the team as he achieved double-digit saves for five consecutive years since 2019.

Ko Woo-suk showed a possibility with a 4.50 ERA in 26 innings in 25 games in 2017, his first year of joining the club, and received far more opportunities than the previous year with a 3-5-3 ERA in 67 innings in 56 games the following year.

It was in 2019 that Ko Woo-seok began to blossom his talents. He pitched in 65 games that year, and he became a new closing pitcher for LG as he recorded 8 wins, 2 losses, 1 hold, 35 saves, and an ERA of 1.52 in 71 innings.

Every season has not gone smoothly. In 2020, Ko had four losses, one hold, and 17 saves with an ERA of 4.10 in 41 ⅔ innings in 40 games. However, he showed off his presence by rebounding to one win, five losses, 30 saves, and an ERA of 2.17 in 63 games in 2021.

Ko continued the trend in 2022. In the same year, he achieved a career high of 4 wins, 2 losses, 42 saves and an ERA of 1.48 in 60 ⅔ innings in 61 games and ranked first in the save category. It was his first time as a title holder since his professional debut. Along with Ko’s good pitching, his team also successfully advanced to the post season for the fourth consecutive year.

In the 2023 season, Ko had three wins, eight losses and 15 saves in 44 innings in 44 games, showing sluggish performance compared to the previous year, and in the Korean Series against KT Wiz, he had one win, one loss and one save and an ERA of 8.31 in four ⅓. However, he took charge of the last inning in Game 5, the last game of the Korean Series, and completed the Korean Series title in 29 years. After the victory was confirmed, he shed tears and shook off his disappointment.

Ko Woo-seok, who did, declared his big league challenge after the end of the postseason. There were many evaluations that his choice was somewhat surprising as he left a poor performance compared to previous years. Once LG confirmed Ko’s intention to advance to the U.S. challenge and allowed him to proceed with the posting, but he said he would not let Ko leave if the size of the contract offered by the big league club was difficult to understand. No matter how much the player wanted to advance to the big league, the club had no choice but to think about the realistic part.

On November 22 last year, LG Twins general manager Cha Myung-seok said, “If I am offered a satisfactory amount of money, I will talk to (Go Woo-suk) again then. If it is an absurd amount, would he want to go to the U.S.? We decided to discuss it when we received some offer,” adding, “If we send Ko, the team will have to receive money (the amount of posting), which should be checked as well. The final decision is made by the owner of the team,” expressing his opinion on Ko’s challenge to the big league.

It seemed to be less realistic, but that didn’t mean that there was no possibility of advancing to the big league. In fact, Ko Woo-suk’s name was mentioned in the U.S.

“The St. Louis Cardinals will consider recruiting Japanese left-hander Matsui Yuki with Ko Woo-suk in the FA (free contract) market,” the Missouri-based daily newspaper “Beleville News Demerkrat” reported in late November last year. “We will see if St. Louis, which is trying to reinforce the bullpen, will use the two players in the bullpen.”

St. Louis Cardinals, a team in the National League Central, finished the season last year with 71 wins and 91 losses (0.435). Notably, as the mound collapsed regardless of starting pitcher and bullpen session, the team desperately felt the need to reinforce pitchers. When it comes to bullpen ERA, it ranked 13th out of 15 teams in the 4.47 National League. This is why Ko Woo-suk was mentioned as a candidate for recruitment.

However, no team has expressed direct interest in Ko Woo-suk since the report, and the situation has not changed much over time. Matsui, who was mentioned along with Ko Woo-suk, found his destination by signing a five-year contract of $28 million with the San Diego Padres on the 20th of last month.

Since the signing of Shohei Ohtani and Yoshinobu Yamamoto (L.A. Dodgers) last month, movement to the free agent market in the big league has accelerated, but it has not affected Ko’s negotiations. In the end, Ko, who has been waiting for long, passed the year.

Even if Ko Woo-seok finishes posting without income, it was by no means a “reckless challenge.” From the player’s point of view, he has provided an opportunity to inform the U.S. of his name and can prepare for the 2024 season with motivation by feeling the high wall of the big league. For his team LG, if the posting is closed as it is, it will face the season without leaking the winning team.

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