KIA veteran slugger Choi Hyung-woo, 40, is one of the best outside free agent (FA) success stories in franchise history. Heading into the 2017 season, Kia was scratching its head over the lack of a fixer-upper, so it shelled out a four-year, 10 billion won deal for Choi, who was one of the league’s best hitters at the time, to don the Geary uniform.
The symbolic figure of 10 billion won may have raised some eyebrows, but Choi got his money’s worth over the four years. His accomplishments are all the more remarkable because he has made up for the huge amount of money. In 2017, his first year with the team, he hit .342 with 26 home runs and 120 RBIs in 142 games, helping the team win the division title, and he finished his first free agency with a .335 batting average, 96 home runs, 424 RBIs, and an OPS of 0.980 in 561 games over four years. No one thought it was a waste of $100 million.
KIA had no reason not to re-sign Choi. After the 2020 season, they offered him another three-year contract. He signed a three-year deal totaling 4.7 billion won (1.3 billion won in down payment, 900 million won in annual salary, and 700 million won in incentives). The first two years were a bit of a struggle due to injuries. But this year, the final year of his three-year contract, he regained his pride. It was another great season at the age of 40.
In 121 games this year, Choi batted .302 with 17 home runs, 81 RBIs, and an OPS of .887 as the team’s center fielder. His contributions were more than reflected in his numbers, especially considering he struggled to lead the team in the center field during the injury to star player Na Sung-bum. Still, his batting ability showed class, and everyone could tell that Choi’s time was far from over.
The next question is future contracts. Choi’s three-year free agent contract ends this year. He needs to play one more year to become a free agent again. There is a way to fill in one year with a normal annual contract and become a free agent. However, Kia is also playing the multi-year contract card. This is because he will have to negotiate again when he becomes a free agent next year. If Choi thinks he can continue to produce at his current level or even above league average offensive production for at least two more years, a non-free agent multi-year deal is not a bad option. 무지개토토 도메인
Choi Hyung-woo is also reported to have a strong desire to retire from KIA. Although he didn’t start his career with KIA, Gwangju is his second home. He has already played for seven years. He is happy with his time with the team, so if there is a multi-year contract offer, the general consensus is that he will not wait for free agency. Kia is also reportedly considering this. Rather than signing him on an annual basis, it would be better to give him a multi-year contract to give him more stability.