KIA general manager Jang Jeong-seok was dismissed on the 29th. This is because it was revealed that he demanded money and valuables during contract negotiations with Park Dong-won last year. Park Dong-won recorded the contents and reported it to the Korea Professional Baseball Players Association, and the Athletes Association recently notified the KIA of this fact.
KIA reported the matter to the KBO Clean Baseball 안전놀이터Center on the 29th, opened a disciplinary committee, and dismissed Jang Jeong-seok. If the KIA submits a report to the KBO, it is a matter that can be disciplined at the KBO level as well. Regardless of the intention, the talk of back money should never come up during contract negotiations.
With this, KIA’s Park Dong-won big deal ended in a desperate catastrophe. After taking office in November 2021, general manager Jang Jeong-seok felt the need to reinforce the home after completing the free agent Na Seong-beom and Yang Hyeon-jong contracts. Naturally, I remembered Park Dong-won, who I had been with when I was director Kiwoom. In fact, general manager Jang persistently requested the recruitment of Park Dong-won to Kiwoom in the 2021-2022 offseason. In 2019, Kiwoom coach and player collaborated to win the Korean Series runner-up.
In the end, it was mid-April 2022 when Kiwoom’s heart was opened. KIA recruited Park Dong-won, who can hit 20 homers, and paid immediate power multi-infielder Kim Tae-jin, the 2023 rookie draft 2nd round nomination right, and 1 billion won in cash to Kiwoom.
Since Park Dong-won is a catcher with a good balance of offense and defense, it is a fact that it actually helped KIA advance to the postseason for the first time in 4 years. In particular, he saved KIA from crisis several times with a home run parade at the end of the season. However, apart from that, negotiations on non-FA multi-year contracts were not smooth. In the first place, it was predicted that he would remain at KIA smoothly, but negotiations were not concluded until the FA market opened.
Eventually, the FA market opened, and Park Dong-won chose LG under the condition of 4 years and 6.5 billion won. For KIA, there is nothing to gain from this big deal other than advancing to the postseason last year. Moreover, Kim Tae-jin, who was given in exchange for Park Dong-won’s big deal, flew in Kiwoom. A promising catcher named Kim Dong-heon was also recognized for his potential in the demonstration game.
KIA received the left-handed submarine Kim Dae-yu from LG. It’s a good pitcher, but when you look at the overall picture, it’s a definite negative in the P&L. Moreover, because of this situation, even the head of the company went out disgracefully. It is a big deal that hurts so much for KIA.
This is not the end. The opening of the 2023 season is just three days away. When the season begins, it may seem that the general manager has less work to do, but that is not the case. There are not one or two things that a former baseball leader should take care of, such as preparation for sluggish foreign players and injury vacancies, and preparation for the new draft. The final selection and confirmation of the 2024 spring camp location must be made by the team leader. Director Jang was recently on a business trip to the US.
KIA starts the 2023 season with a leader vacancy. Born in 1973, the captain and manager (director Kim Jong-guk) of the same age faced the greatest crisis in the New Tigers’ voyage.