Although the player who was a strong candidate for permanent number 1 left in vain, NC Dinos continued history by catching the ‘Rookie King Duo’ that laid the foundation for the team in its early days.
On the 16th, NC announced that it had signed a contract with Lee Jae-hak for a contract period of 2+1 years and a maximum of 900 million won. The details of the contract are 550 million won for 2 years of guarantee and 350 million won for total options including execution of the 3rd year contract.
Lee Jae-hak, who started his professional career with the Doosan Bears in 2010, moved to NC, a new team, through the second draft at the end of 2011. After winning the Rookie of the Year award in 2013 with 10 wins, 5 losses, 1 save and an ERA of 2.88, he recorded double-digit multipliers for four consecutive years.
Although his recent few seasons have been disappointing, the 2022 season (3-8, average ERA of 4.75) has been mediocre overall. However, except for the sluggish performance in May (9.26 ERA) and September (average ERA 10.13), he showed decent pitching.
Lee Jae-hak said to Star News after the contract, “I wanted to stay in NC longer because he has been with the team since the foundation.” As the club’s living history, he revealed his determination to “continue to work hard to make history.” NC did not give up Lee Jae-hak, who was a founding member, and expressed its intention to hold on to it by offering a contract.
Prior to Lee Jae-hak, NC also left another symbolic founding member. It was second baseman Park Min-woo (29). On the 23rd of last month, he continued to accompany NC by agreeing to a contract period of 8 years (5+3 years) and up to 14 billion won.
Park Min-woo, who became NC’s first player through the 2012 rookie draft, recorded a career batting average of 0.320 (4th in active play), 29 homers, 392 RBIs, 217 stolen bases and 1189 hits after debuting in the first team in 2013. He won the Golden Glove twice, starting with Rookie of the Year in 2014, and was also selected for the Asian Games and Premier 12.
Park Min-woo also told Star News, “We are sharing the history of this team with anything. Trying to finish last, winning together, and growing like NC in everything.” At the same time, he revealed, “In 8 years, I will be playing for 19 years in only one team, and this is the ideal I have wanted since I was young.” 안전놀이터
Lee Jae-hak and Park Min-woo played an active part in pitching and hitting in the early and mid-2010s when the team was establishing a foundation. In 2012, the first year of NC’s founding, they were selected as futures all-stars, and even after his first team debut, he won the rookie king in turn and made his name known splendidly. Now, the two players became founding members in 2012, with only four remaining (Lee Jae-hak, Park Min-woo, Kim Seong-wook, and Lee Min-ho) on the team.
In fact, last year, NC sent Na Seong-beom (33), who was just as symbolic as them, to the KIA Tigers. Na Seong-beom, who had a different opinion on the terms of the contract, signed a contract with KIA for 6 years and 15 billion won and completed 10 years of companionship with NC.
Na Seong-beom conquered the Futures League from 2012, the season of his joining, and even after entering the first team, he showed the aspect of the Hota Jun people. He left behind achievements such as joining the 20-20 club in 2015 and achieving 30 home runs-100 RBIs on three occasions, and in 2020, he played a key role in the team’s first combined championship. If he had stayed on the team, the permanent absence would have been definite, but NC ended up missing Na Seong-beom.
In this Stove League, NC also sent founding members Noh Jin-hyeok (33) and Won Jong-hyun (35) to the Lotte Giants and Kiwoom Heroes, respectively. In particular, he was criticized for not properly negotiating with them to catch the big fish players.
Still, NC saved face by catching two symbolic players, Park Min-woo and Lee Jae-hak. At least, it was like conveying the message that we will not miss the player who shared the glory of the team.