“We feel the pressure”
The LG Twins and Kiwoom Heroes announced a three-for-three trade on the morning of the 29th. The Twins sent “top prospects” Lee Ju-hyung and Kim Dong-gyu and a 2024 first-round draft pick to Kiwoom in exchange for Choi Won-tae, who has been one of their best performers this season.
Choi began his professional career in 2015 after being drafted by the Nexen (now Kiwoom) Heroes in the first round, and through 29 games, he has appeared in 184 games over eight seasons, compiling a 66-48 record with a 4.27 ERA. Choi established himself as a homegrown “ace” early in his career, collecting double-digit wins in three straight seasons from 2017 to 2019, but he failed to reach 10 wins in any of the last three years.
This year, however, has been different. Despite Kiwoom being in the bottom half of the standings, he had the best first half of the season with a 6-4 record and 3.25 ERA in 17 games before being traded to LG. It’s clear why LG wanted Choi Won-tae. They want to win the Korean Series title. LG is currently in first place, but they’ve been struggling with four or five starters all season. They’ve given a lot of players a chance, but none of them have been able to stick.
Coach Yeom Kyung-yup learned of the trade after the game on Nov. 28, but Choi Won-tae received the call the following morning. “I woke up and they told me I was traded, so I ate, packed my things, and left,” he said. “I don’t remember exactly, but I think I got the call around 10 o’clock. I was surprised, and I still don’t think I’m adjusting well,” he said of his transfer.
With Choi on board, LG has several options. If Kim Yun-sik returns to the starting lineup, Lee Jung-yong and Lee Ji-gang, who have been trained as starters, will move to long relief. In addition, Lee Min-ho, who has started pitching in the second team, can be utilized as a bullpen or sixth starter depending on the situation. It’s a breath of fresh air for the starters and the bullpen.
The manager said, “(Choi) Won-tae was with me when he was younger, so it will be much easier for him to adapt. I know him well, and he knows me well. I think we’ll win a lot more games in the second half than the first half.” Choi Won-tae said, “The coach wants me to play fast and not try to score runs, because I have a good bat.”
Still, Yeom Kyung-yeop and Park Dong-won had played together at Kiwoom, and Oh Ji-hwan had always been close through training camp. Choi Won-tae said, “(My former teammates) are trying to help me adjust. And (Oh) Ji-hwan has been close with my brother since the training center, so I think he’ll do a good job,” Choi smiled wryly.메이저사이트
With Choi Won-tae’s departure, his Kiwoom teammates expressed their disappointment on social media, especially Lee Jung-hoo, who wished him well. He said, “I was really close with the Kiwoom players, and it’s sad to see them go. But now that I’m an LG player, I’ll try to get to know my seniors, brothers, and friends as soon as possible.”
There is a good chance that Choi’s performance will improve at LG. Not only is the defense solid, but the batting lineup and bullpen