“We must become a team that recognizes the value of veterans and franchises”
The Lotte Giants officially announced on the 20th that they have agreed to a contract with Jeon Jun-woo for 4 years with a guaranteed amount of 4 billion won and a total of 700 million won in incentives. The total contract size is 4.7 billion won, the first free agent signing this year. With this signing, Jeon will remain an “eternal Lotte man.
Jun-woo began his professional career after being selected by Lotte with the 15th overall pick in the second round of the 2008 rookie draft. He gradually gained first-team experience in his rookie season before becoming a full-fledged “starter” in 2010, hitting .289 with 101 hits, 19 home runs, 57 RBIs, 56 runs scored, and an OPS of .850 in 114 games. He played in the Lotte uniform through the 2019 season, making him eligible for free agency for the first time.
Obviously, the size of his first contract was a disappointment for Jeon. Due to the frozen free agent market at the time, Jeon only signed a four-year, $3.4 billion contract, even though he had 1166 hits, 135 home runs, and a .294 batting average over 11 seasons. After four more years of 650 hits, 61 home runs, a .311 batting average, and an OPS of 0.839, Jeon signed a second free agent contract totaling 4.7 billion won ($4.7 million) and decided to stay in a Lotte uniform forever.
While he is still one of the best players in the KBO in terms of hitting ability, given his position and free agent classification (Class B), a move didn’t seem likely. But when the lid was lifted, it turned out to be just a guess. Besides Lotte, other local A teams were interested in Jun-woo. Their offers were higher than the 4.7 billion won ($4.7 million) total that Lotte and Jeon signed. However, Jeon decided not to leave Lotte fans. He chose the honor of being a “franchise star” over money.
“I am deeply grateful to the club for recognizing my value at such a young age, and I feel very honored to have spent my entire career with the Lotte Giants and Lotte fans,” he said after signing. “I know that some teams have shown interest, and I am grateful for that. However, as I intend to remain a Lotte One Clubman, I did not enter into specific negotiations with other teams. I didn’t have time to do that.”
The signing was a “seamless process. Park Jun-hyuk met with Jeon Jun-woo shortly after the free agency market opened, and the two reached an agreement on the 19th, and the final contract was stamped on the morning of the 20th. When contacted by ‘My Daily,’ Park Jun-hyuk smiled broadly and said, “As a franchise star, I should be the first to sign a contract.” 보스토토
Lotte highly valued Jun-woo’s value as a hitter, a player who can hold the center of the team and serve as an example for the younger players. Park Jun-hyuk said, “Jun-woo’s value as a hitter is also a hitter, but as a team, we need culture and tradition. The captain and manager can always change. But if you have a steady player, the culture and tradition of the team will be established. That’s not something that a general manager and coach can create. The culture in the locker room is created by the players.