“Ahn Chi-hong was a player with the steadiness and sincerity that we needed for our team,” said Son Hyuk, general manager of the Hanwha Eagles of the Korean Baseball Organization (KBO), who signed free agent infielder Ahn Chi-hong, 33, for up to six years and 7.2 billion won.
“He has played an average of more than 100 games per year for 13 seasons since his debut in 2009, with a career OPS of 0.800,” Sohn said in a statement after announcing the signing on Tuesday. “His batting average, on-base percentage, and slugging percentage have never been down or up.”
“There was no reason for us to hesitate to sign him because we needed a consistent player like him,” he added.
Son praised Ahn as a player with a high “baseball IQ” who can hit in the right situations.
He also said that he has proven leadership skills and is expected to spread good influence to the younger players of Hanwha.
Son said he would be cautious about signing additional free agents.
“Now that we have signed foreign batters and free agent Ahn Chi-hong, we need to meet with pitcher Jang Min-jae, who is also an internal free agent,” he said. “All possibilities are open, but we have a lot of work to do besides free agents, such as the secondary draft and the issue of foreign pitchers, so from now on, we will wait and see what the market conditions are.”
On the 19th, Hanwha surprised the baseball world by signing Venezuelan switch-hitter Yonatan Peraza, 25, who had never played in the big leagues, for a total of $1 million, including a $200,000 signing bonus, $600,000 in salary, and a $200,000 option.
The total of $1 million is the maximum amount a club can give to a foreign player making his KBO debut, and Hanwha made a “full bet” on a young minor league prospect who has never played in the major leagues. 사설토토