Im Chan-kyu was announced as a free agent in 2024 on Friday. According to data released by the Korean Baseball Organization (KBO), a total of 34 KBO players are eligible for free agency this winter. Players who wish to exercise their rights have until the 17th to do so, and then are free to negotiate from the 19th if their eligibility is approved. For Im, exercising his free agency rights is a foregone conclusion. He had a career-high season (14-3 with a 3.42 ERA) and led his team to the division title, so there’s a lot of good news coming his way.굿모닝토토 주소
The market isn’t looking too bad either. Of the 15 pitchers eligible for free agency, the only “regulation-inning starter” who can be signed is Im Chan-kyu. Pitchers including Park Se-woong (Lotte Giants) and Moon Seung-won (SSG Landers) were locked into non-free agent multi-year contracts early on, exacerbating the “starter scarcity” phenomenon. In the free agency market, where supply and demand dictate the price, a shortage of players is a condition for expecting a counterproductive return. A club official said, “I think this is one of the seasons with fewer starting resources since the FA system started. He’s young (born in November 1992), so that’s a strength,” said a team official. “It’s also positive that he’s not the type of pitcher who throws a lot of pitches from the standpoint of using up his shoulder.”
Lim was eligible for free agency a year ago but did not exercise his rights. He thought it would be difficult to get a good contract because his personal record (6-11 with a 5.04 ERA) had dropped. His prospects for this season were not bright either. He lost out to Kang Hyo-jong and Park Myung-geun in the competition for the five starting spots in the exhibition games and was kept in the bullpen. However, he won the job in mid-April as a “temporary starter.” Following LG manager Yoon Kyung-yeop’s advice to “get the fastball out of your head,” his performance improved as he worked on his control. His fastball averaged just 140.8 km/h, but he mixed in a slider, changeup, and slow curveball to take away batters’ timing. As a result, his decision to stay in free agency for another year proved to be a godsend.
Im Chan-kyu is a great talker. “I remember my last KS with LG in 2002 in detail,” he said at the Korean Series media day on June 6, “I was an elementary school student at the time, and I remember begging my mom not to go to school. I think I’m a successful ‘geek’ (a person who is passionate about a field) just by pitching in the KS for LG,” he chuckled. Lim started the KS’s third game against the KT Wiz and gave up one run in three and two-thirds innings to help his team win. With a two-game lead in the best-of-three series, LG went on to win the championship with a 4-1 record. “If you win the championship and become a free agent, you’ll have to look for me even if I don’t tell you,” he told LG President Cha Myung-seok. “I think he’ll keep his loyalty to me,” said Yeom, who hopes to stay.