SSG Landers has placed two veteran players in their 30s on the secondary draft market for immediate impact. The decision was made for salary cap and generational reasons.
The secondary draft, which has been revived after a four-year hiatus, will be held on May 22. The second draft was introduced to level the playing field and give prospects more opportunities.
Ten teams have already been handed a list of protected players who cannot be selected in the draft. However, team officials were somewhat surprised to be handed SSG’s list of protected players. Two immediate first-team veterans were removed at once.토토사이트
Veteran A, who played as a starter this season, will be able to digest the first team full-time next season. The other, B, is also a resource who has struggled this season, but has a great career thus far. Some are concerned that SSG made this decision without having a replacement in place in case both players leave.
SSG’s decision to remove two veterans from the protected roster is an extension of its generational shift. SSG fired former head coach Kim Won-hyung last month. The organization parted ways with the coach who led the team to the integrated title in 2022 and a third-place regular season finish this season. The club said the decision was made “as it was deemed necessary to make changes and innovations, including the overall team operation and player generation change.”
“By removing the veteran from the protected list, SSG has once again signaled the rationale and necessity of generational change,” said a team official, adding, “It’s a strategic choice.”
There are also those who see it as a precautionary measure in light of the salary cap system. “It seems that SSG made this decision because they felt burdened by the salary cap,” analyzed a D team official. The salary cap set by the Korean Baseball Organization (KBO) for the three-year period from 2023 to 2025 is 11.4268 billion won. The first time it is exceeded, the team will be fined 50% of the excess. A second consecutive violation will result in a 100% penalty and a nine-position drop in the following year’s first-round draft.
Even before the system was implemented, SSG was worried about exceeding the salary cap and made strategic contracts. They tried to avoid exceeding the salary cap by signing their main players to multi-year contracts or focusing their contracts and salaries on specific seasons. That’s why the team signed Kim Kwang-hyun to a four-year, 15.1 billion won free agent contract, with his 2022 salary alone accounting for more than half of the total.
SSG is close to the salary cap for the 2023 season, with 54 players totaling 9.48 billion won. Additional payments based on option fulfillment could increase that total.
If two veterans leave in the second round of the draft to be selected by other organizations, SSG could save more than 1 billion won in team salary next season. It would also free up money for free agent signings a year or two later.
An SSG team official said, “We have notified the player. We also explained to him why the club had to make such a choice, as the rumors were circulating in the baseball world and the player would know about it.”