With 19 hours left until “How can this happen?” ML dramatic offer → LG approval → Why does SD want Ko Woo-seok

A dramatic twist happened to Ko Woo-suk (25) who seemed highly likely to stay. He received a Major League offer about 19 hours before the deadline for posting and boarded a plane bound for the U.S. after receiving approval from the LG Twins. Unless there are big variables, Ko is highly likely to become a San Diego man on the morning of the 4th. The LG Twins officially announced on the 3rd, “Ko received an offer from a Major League club recently in accordance with the posting process, and the LG Twins decided to send the offer to a Major League team that has been sending out in respect of the player’s will.”

“Korean right-hander Ko Woo-suk is about to sign with the San Diego Padres,” Jon Heyman, a columnist for the New York Post, said on his SNS account at around 12 p.m. (Korea time). San Diego is expected to use Ko as a closer,” and reported that Ko received a Major League offer. Ko, who was nominated for LG’s first draft in 2017, has completed seven seasons with the posting system at the end of the 2023 season and delivered his long-cherished dream to the LG team to challenge the Major League.

After confirming Ko’s intention to play overseas, LG accepted Ko’s bid to play in the Major League on Nov. 21 last year. “I asked Ko to give it a try,” said Cha Myung-seok, LG’s general manager at the time. “We need to see how interested he is in the Major League,” adding, “In the past, Kim Jae-hwan (Doosan) tried, but gave up because the conditions he wanted did not come out.” “Since it could happen again this time, let’s try it and talk with the club when the amount of money that the player is satisfied with is available.” 파워볼실시간

Ko Woo-seok began negotiations with 30 Major League teams from 8 a.m. (U.S. Eastern Time) on the 5th of last month after the KBO’s request for posting the MLB Secretariat. However, a month passed without much income amid low interest, and the posting deadline was just around the corner at 5 p.m. on January 3rd and 7 a.m. on the 4th in Korean time.

In fact, the St. Louis Cardinals in the National League Central was the only club that was initially linked to Ko. Local media reported day after day that the team would focus on the international free agent market, including Yuki Matsui and Ko. However, Ko’s likely destination was San Diego in the western part of the National League, where Kim Ha-sung belongs, not the St. Louis Cardinals. After recruiting Japanese bullpen pitcher Yuki Matsui for a five-year total of 28 million U.S. dollars on April 24, the San Diego Padres put in an offer to reinforce its bullpen.

“Ko, who played seven seasons in the KBO League, had an ERA of less than 4.00 in four of those seasons,” said MLB Trade Rumors on Thursday. “He had more than 30 saves in 2019, 2021 and 2022, and consistently induced batters to swing and miss,” adding that “Ko is a pitcher who throws a four-seam fastball with a cutter and curveball mixed in the mid-90s. It is an interesting weapon.”

“San Diego is a team that aggressively targets emerging players in the Asian professional league. Recently, he signed a five-year, 28 million-dollar contract with Matsui, and although Ko could not afford such a contract, the Padres were attracted to his youth and ability to induce him to swing and miss.” Ko’s original team LG immediately reported to the superiors after receiving the offer from San Diego. As the posting deadline is nearing, the team planned to announce its position by the end of the day at the latest, but the decision was made faster than expected.

If Ko Woo-seok heads to San Diego, he will share a meal with Kim Ha-sung, the first Korean to win the Gold Glove last year. In addition, he can make his debut against the Los Angeles Dodgers in the opening game of the Major League World Tour Seoul at Gocheok Sky Dome on March 20 and 21. Attention is also focusing on the same district showdown with Lee Jung-hoo, his brother-in-law, who signed a contract with the San Francisco Giants for six years and $113 million last month.

The National League West is expected to be the sole stage for Asian players in the 2024 season, with Shohei Ohtani, Yoshinobu Yamamoto, Yu Darvish and Matsui from Japan added. Ko has been a built-in closing pitcher for LG since 2019. In seven seasons, he recorded 19 wins and 26 losses with 139 saves with a 3.18 ERA in 354 games, and became the league’s best closing pitcher with a 1.48 ERA and 42 saves in 2022.

Last year, he had only three wins, eight losses and 15 saves with a 3.68 ERA in 44 games due to neck and shoulder injuries at the WBC (World Baseball Classic) in March. Despite his poor performance in the Korean Series with one win, one loss, one save and an 8.31 ERA in four games, he helped his team win the overall title for the first time in 29 years since 1994, clinching his first career championship ring. Ko left for the U.S. to proceed with his contract including a medical test. He is expected to report his contract with the San Diego Padres as early as Friday morning.

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