Following the first championship ring in his life, even an annual salary of 100 million won. For Yoon-seok Oh (31) and Joon-tae Kim (29), the trade transfer was a godsend.
On the 29th, KT Wiz concluded an annual salary contract for the 2023 season with 61 candidates for renewal. KT players headed to Tucson, Arizona, USA, where the spring camp was held through Incheon International Airport this afternoon.
According to KT’s announcement, out of 61 players, a total of 14 players receive annual salaries worth billions this year, excluding free agents and military veterans. Among them, there are four new billionaires, including infielder Oh Yoon-seok and catcher Kim Jun-tae, who moved their nests side by side from Lotte to KT through a trade. Oh Yoon-seok received 120 million won, a 33.3% increase from 90 million won last year, and Kim Jun-tae received 100 million won, a 53.8% increase from 65 million won last year.
On the last day of July 2021, Oh Yoon-seok and Kim Jun-tae transferred from Lotte to KT through a trade with right-handed side arm pitcher Lee Kang-jun. Desperately in need of depth reinforcement to win, KT recruited two players while giving away a promising submarine throwing a 150km fastball, and they were reborn as KT’s first integrated championship team that year.
Unfortunately, both players did not see much light during their Lotte days. After graduating from Gyeonggi High School and Yonsei University, 안전놀이터 Oh Yoon-seok entered the professional league as a training player for Lotte in 2014. After that, he went through managing director and hit his potential with a batting average of 2998 in 2020, and on October 4 of that year, he became the main character of the 27th cycling hit in KBO history at the Sajik Hanwha game. However, despite the great record, his position in the Lotte infield gradually narrowed and was used as a trade card.
Oh Yoon-seok was named to the starting list for the opening game in KT’s first full-time season last year. He played 115 games in the season, breaking his personal record for most appearances in a season since his first team debut in 2015. However, due to a back injury during the season, he had to rehabilitate for quite a long time, and unfortunately finished the year with a batting average of 2.34, 6 homers and 37 RBIs.
Kim Jun-tae, like Oh Yoon-seok, joined Lotte as a training player in 2012 and failed to stand out, then left Lotte and moved to KT. His first year was mediocre. In the aftermath of knee surgery during Lotte, he made his KT debut belatedly on October 6, and promised the next season with a batting average of 10.18 in 11 games due to the Jang Seong-woo-Heo Do-hwan system.
Kim Jun-tae took on the important role of supporting Jang Seong-woo, the starting player, as Heo Do-hwan transferred to LG as a free agent the following year. It was true that a question mark was attached to his homeroom plan during his spring camp, but he confidently turned that question mark into an exclamation mark through his skills. Last year, with a stable pitching lead, he played an active role in 98 games with a batting average of 27.3, 4 homers and 27 RBIs, reborn as the clear second-in-command of KT’s catchers.
The two players, who received hundreds of millions of dollars in annual salaries, are expected to be given important missions this year as well. Oh Yoon-seok has to erase KT’s worries about second base this year to match his reputation as ‘Post Park Kyung-soo’, and Kim Jun-tae also has to complete the task of arranging the physical strength of 33-year-old catcher Jang Seong-woo. It doesn’t shine much, but only if they play their part in their respective positions increases the likelihood that KT will reproduce the glory of 2021.
With the transfer in July 2021, he won the championship ring he had only dreamed of in his Lotte days, and after two years, he received a billion won salary. Both Oh Yoon-seok and Kim Jun-tae opened the flower path of baseball life through trade.