- Han Hyun-hee, imported cars worth up to $2 billion
- Han Dong-hee, 74.2 million won in OPS-related expenses
- Lee Hak-joo, 24 million won in cuts
- Yoo Kang-nam and Noh Jin-hyuk are achievable
In professional baseball, option contracts serve several purposes. They provide motivation for players and a safeguard against overspending for teams. This season, Lotte had its fair share of such contracts. For the first time, they introduced a “performance option” in salary negotiations, and they also added options to their free agent signings. Based on their current performance, it seems that Lotte has been able to make a ‘surplus business’.
Among Lotte’s players, Han Hyun-hee is the one with the most options. Han signed a free agent contract with Lotte in January for 3+1 years and up to 4 billion won. He doesn’t get all of that money. Aside from the 300 million won down payment and 1.5 billion won in guaranteed salary, he has 2.2 billion won in options. That’s a difference of 2 billion won in earnings based on performance. Nevertheless, Han Hyun-hee said he was “confident” when he signed. After graduating from Gyeongnam High School, he lost weight to play for his hometown team and even bought a laptop to analyze baseball.
However, based on his current performance, the option appears to be out of reach. This season, Han has split time between the starting rotation and the bullpen, posting a 4-4 record (9 losses) and a 5.40 ERA in 26 appearances. Of the seven Lotte pitchers who have appeared in 20 or more games, he has the second-worst record after Kim Do-gyu. He has a 4.91 ERA in 12 starts this season, the lowest of all except for Lee In-bok (5.71), who joined the team late in the season. The bullpen is also in jeopardy, with a 7.62 ERA and 1.85 WHIP.
Yoo Kang-nam and Noh Jin-hyeok, who joined Han Hyun-hee as free agents, are in a better situation: their options are worth 600 million won and 400 million won, respectively, which are relatively small amounts of money, and Yoo is expected to fulfill his option in terms of framing ability in addition to his physical strength. Noh Jin-hyuk hasn’t been hitting as well lately, but he’s still a possibility based on his first half of the season.
Han Dong-hee and Lee Hak-joo were the first two players to sign the “performance option contract” that Lotte introduced in this year’s salary negotiations, but both of them are experiencing a slump, which is a “red light” for their fulfillment. First, Han Dong-hee received an option related to OPS (on-base percentage + slugging percentage). She can earn up to KRW 266.8 million if she fulfills the option, while her net guaranteed salary is KRW 192.6 million. The difference between the two is KRW 74.2 million. However, Han’s current OPS is 0.567, which ranks “last” among the 50 hitters in the league with regular at-bats. Specific option OPS numbers are not known, but it is assumed that he will need to get close to his career-high 0.817 from last season. 안전놀이터
If he does, Lee will earn up to 96 million won (72 million won in guaranteed salary). He has been in the Lotte uniform since last year, but his performance was not up to expectations due to injuries, and with the signing of Noh Jin-hyuk in the same shortstop position this year, he chose to sign the option as a motivation. However, Joo