In this relatively quiet free agency market, Chan-kyu Lim (31-LG Twins) has been uncharacteristically quiet for a 14-win pitcher.
He is unlikely to move to another team and is tacitly staying in LG.
Im, who grew up as an LG fan, dreamed of playing baseball and helped the team win its first unified title in 29 years this year, won the top pitcher award at the 2023 First Baseball Award ceremony held at the Rivera Hotel in Cheongdam-dong, Gangnam-gu, Seoul, on Aug. 8.
Im and LG President Cha Myung-seok, who has always had a close relationship, had a “comedy routine” at the awards ceremony.
Cha, who received the Front Award on behalf of LG’s employees, said, “The 1.2 million spectators were difficult, winning the championship after 29 years was difficult, but the most difficult thing was signing a free agent contract with Im Chan-gyu,” making everyone laugh.
He said that he was worried about how much to pay Im Chan-gyu.
“It’s not that it’s hard to negotiate a contract with me, but it’s hard to measure (value). We’ve only met once through an agent, so it’s still a very respectful thing to say. I politely replied, “Thank you very much.
True to his word, LG and Lim only met once.
His agent, Lee Yerang of Ricoh Sports, is in the U.S., so negotiations are expected to speed up only after Lee returns home.
“There hasn’t been much talk yet. Every player wants to sign as soon as possible,” he said, “but I’m trying to think and work out calmly without any urgency.”
When asked if he had received any offers from other clubs, Im admitted, “It’s been quiet,” and said, “I think I’m going to stay with LG.”
Im, who was eligible for free agency last year but opted for “bad luck” due to his poor performance, had his best year yet this year with a personal best of 14 wins.
It’s a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, so it’s natural to want to sign on the best terms possible, but he couldn’t hide his feelings for LG, like an adolescent boy in love for the first time.
“The afterglow of winning the championship is still there,” he said, “but not right after the (Korean) Series ended, but two weeks later. I was in a frenzy, but when I watched the video and took some time to process it, it just hit me,” he said.
“I want to win next year, the next year, the next year,” he said, expressing his love for LG.
His LG colleagues urging him to stay also touched his heart.
“I am very happy that my colleagues want me to stay. I feel that I have lived well for 13 years at LG,” he said, adding, “It’s good to be welcomed by people who are like family.” He smiled broadly. 파워볼