Two years of silence was preparation for this winter. He filled the catcher, shortstop, and starting position, which the team needed most.

On the 17th, Lotte signed a free agency contract with Han Hyun-hee for a contract period of 3+1 years and a total of 4 billion won (down payment of 300 million won and guarantee of 1.5 billion won).

Han Hyun-hee is a young 30-year-old this year. He has a career record of 65 wins, 43 losses, 8 saves and 105 holds, and is a free agent pitcher who has accumulated sufficient performance in both the starting and bullpen positions. However, the market’s reaction to him, which has recently shown a downward trend, has been cold. A contract was not signed for more than a year.

Kiwoom, the original team, did not trust Han Hyun-hee enough to exclude him from the Korean Series entry. Even after the end of the season, he only reaffirmed the position of ‘no sign & trade’, and he did not show any active movement.

However, Lotte held Han Hyun-hee’s hand. Han Hyeon-hee, who devoted herself to exercise all winter long, was finally able to smile brightly in front of her married bride on the 7th.

With this, the limit of 3 outside free agents has been filled this winter. Gangnam Yoo (8 billion won in 4 years), Jinhyeok Roh (5 billion won in 4 years), and Hyun-hee Han스포츠토토add up to 17 billion won.

Prior to this, there were only three teams that recruited three free agents in one year, including Hanwha Eagles and KT Wiz in 2015 and Hanwha this year. Lotte became the fourth main character.

However, this winter, Hanwha, excluding Chae Eun-seong, put weight on the touching ‘homecoming’ of Lee Tae-yang and Oh Seon-jin. On the other hand, there is a difference that Lotte has thoroughly focused on recruiting outside players who can make up for its weaknesses. In the first year of Seong Min-gyu’s appointment, he kept silent for two years after recruiting Ahn Chi-hong, but this year, with the active support of the parent company, ‘Won Ki-ok’ broke out.

In addition to free agent players, they recruited a large number of release players such as veteran pitcher Cha Woo-chan, Shin Jeong-rak, Kim Sang-soo, Yoon Myung-jun, catcher Lee Jung-hoon, and outfielder Ahn Kwon-soo, and signed a multi-year non-FA contract with Park Se-woong for 5 years and 9 billion won. A number of proven coaches were also reinforced, including head coach Park Heung-sik, second team coach Lee Jong-woon, pitching coach Bae Young-soo, and battery coach Choi Gyeong-cheol. Based on the confidence in nurturing new talent, it seems to have aimed for ‘Winnow’ in the 2023 season.

The ‘gift package’ of the parent company does not come every day. Continuing investment requires consistent positive performance. Even considering the history of Lotte, the first team, this year was one of the few large-scale investments. Lotte’s performance in 2023 has become even more important.

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