The first substitution was successful. But the second one is a challenge.
The Hanwha Eagles have effectively lost two of their three foreign players from the start of the season.
Starter Butch Smith was pulled after just 2⅔ innings in the opener due to pain, and he never returned to the mound after a muscle strain was discovered. At $800,000, he’s one of the most expensive outsiders on the roster.
Fortunately, Smith’s replacement, Ricardo Sanchez, calmed the nerves of Hanwha fans by going 3-0 with a 1.39 ERA in six starts. However, a replacement for the ejected Brian O’Grady has been elusive.메이저놀이터
Hanwha will play its sixth game of the season against the Lotte Giants at Sajik Stadium in Busan on April 13.
Hanwha’s Smith in training. Suwon=Jae-man Park Reporter email@example.com/2023.04.14/
“One of the players we were in contact with was called up to the major leagues yesterday,” Hanwha manager Choi Won-ho said with a bitter smile when we met before the game.
“I don’t know how many there are. It’s hard to say. It’s harder than I thought (to find new players).”
The reason: a small budget. A KBO team’s initial budget for a foreign player is capped at $4 million (including transfer fees) for the first year.
However, replacement foreign players are prorated at $100,000 per month. With the date being June 13, there are about five and a half months left until the end of November, so Hanwha can spend about $550,000 to sign a new replacement foreign player.
“We have a little over $500,000 to spend,” Choi said. Agents are said to be prioritizing the Japanese, or asking for long-term guarantees through next year. They can get up to $1 million a year in the new season, but I don’t know if we can accept that,” he sighs.
The 2023 KBO League game between the Hanwha Eagles and the Lotte Giants was held at Hanwha Life Eagles Park in Daejeon on Nov. 16. Hanwha’s O’Grady reacts after striking out in the bottom of the fifth inning. Daejeon=Jae-Man Park 기자pjm@sportschosun.com/2023.05.16/
“But you have to bring a player who is doing well in Triple-A, and it’s not easy to bring a player like that. I keep looking and poking around. You do background checks, contact agents, ask players’ opinions, discuss contract terms, and suddenly they’re called up to the big leagues. We spent a lot of time in the major leagues this year.”
“I used to think, ‘I wish I had an outfielder,'” Choi said. Nowadays, our hitters are hitting well, so I don’t think about an outfielder much,” Choi said, laughing, but emphasizing that “of course it’s better to have one.”