All eyes are on SSG Landers franchise star Kim Kang-min moving to the Hanwha Eagles.

He seems to have a good chemistry with the KT Wiz in many ways. The hero is veteran sidearm Woo Kyu-min.

Woo Kyu-min, who joined the LG Twins in 2003 and started and finished the 2017 season, chose his first transfer on good terms as an FA for four years and 6.5 billion won (6.1 million U.S. dollars). He was bound for the Samsung Lions.

He had high expectations as a starter, but turned to the middle due to injuries and team circumstances. It was not bad, recording double-digit holds and saves every season since 2018. Of course, considering that he signed a large FA contract, it was an ambiguous stat that could leave a regret for the club.

Without Woo, however, the power of the weak bullpen had no choice but to weaken, and he spent seven years like that at Samsung. Now, Woo is about to turn 40. This is where another turning point in baseball’s life comes. It was a transfer to KT through the second draft.

How will Woo feel about the upcoming transfer? Will it be regrettable? Or will it provide new motivation for players at twilight? “Players can’t help but wonder about their future at the news of the revival of the 2nd draft. My juniors and I also planned our future by putting together a 35-member protection list,” Woo said. “I didn’t pay much attention at first because I thought I would make it to the 35-member protection list given my performance and other factors. However, as the draft approached, I heard that I could solve the problem.”

“I had no intention of quitting baseball at all. So I decided not to be disappointed and to accept it as a good opportunity. Then, I saw KT. I thought it would be great to go to KT.” There was a reason. Woo said, “I really wanted to work with Lee Kang-chul. Aren’t you legendary with our pitchers on the sidelines? When I was a coach for the Nexen Heroes, I used to visit him and ask him many questions. I met him late, but I want to learn a lot from him.”

The meeting with Park Kyung-soo and Park Byung-ho, who shared their dark days with LG, is also touching. “The three of us are lifting the trophy together. I feel like crying just thinking about it. I have never won a championship since my professional debut. I really want it,” Woo said.

KT wants Woo to take charge of the first inning as a winning team. It also wants Woo to play a leading role in the KT bullpen, which has many young pitchers. KT has high expectations on veteran players’ role and treats them well. In addition, the bullpen is mostly young and powerful. Woo Kyu-min and KT match well. That’s why he nominated the pitcher in the first round and invested 400 million won in compensation. The most important thing is his physical condition. Woo simply said, “I’m confident.”

“Actually, I wanted to end my career at Samsung. I started a family in Daegu and I had so much affection with my juniors. It’s a shame that I can’t see my juniors fully realize their potential,” Woo said. “But once the transfer was confirmed, I didn’t know that I would feel so excited again.


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