5 Wins, 1 KS MVP Kim Kang-min who Achieved Everything at SSG for 23 Years, Makes a New Start at Hanwha.

Kim Kang-min (41), who seemed likely to remain as a franchise star for SSG Landers

will extend his active career with the Hanwha Eagles.

 Although his transfer was unintentional, he is 먹튀검증determined to burn his final flame as a player at Hanwha.

On the 24th, the Hanwha club officially announced Kim Kang-min’s departure to Hanwha, saying

Kim Kang-min visited the club office today and expressed his intention to extend his career as a player.

We are including Kim Kang-min in the pending player list.”

Kim Kang-min, who joined SK Wyverns (predecessor of SSG) in 2001

has played for only one team for 23 years.

He won a total of five championship rings through SK and SSG

and was selected as the Korean Series Most Valuable Player (MVP) last year.

He has the ability to strike a blow when necessary and also has the defensive ability of animal-like reflexes

so fans called him ‘the beast’. 

Kim Kang-min signed a second free agent contract with SK after the 2019 season for a total of 1 billion won for 1+1 years, and after this contract ended

the contract was extended on a one-year basis. 

It is true that his skills deteriorated as the years went by.

Last year, he mainly came out as a pinch hitter and had a batting average of 0.303 (54 hits in 178 at-bats) with 5 home runs

but this year his batting average dropped to 0.226 (31 hits in 137 at-bats) with 2 home runs.

He also suffered from muscle injuries all the time.

Kim Kang-min, who ended the 2023 season somewhat disappointingly

is at the crossroads of his retirement. Since he was past his age

it would not have been surprising if he announced his retirement right away

but considering his still strong defensive ability and his status within SSG

it was difficult for him to make an easy decision to retire.

t is said that Kim Kang-min planned to start the 2024 season as a player and gradually reach a point of retirement.

He also discussed his retirement matches and leadership training with the SSG club.

However, this plan was disrupted in the second draft on the 22nd.

SSG, which judged that there was no need for other teams to nominate a player with a strong one-club man personality and who was not far from retirement

released Kim Kang-min from the 35-man protected list

but Hanwha designated Kim Kang-min in the last turn of the 4th round.

SSG was embarrassed, but it could not be said that Hanwha’s choice

which highly evaluated the player’s value and pointed him out, was wrong.

Hanwha’s general manager Son Hyuk and coach Choi Won-ho explained Kim Kang-min’s usage in detail and emphasized that he is fully capable of serving as a player for about two years.

He declared that depending on his performance

he could be used as a starting member.

Kim Kang-min was also embarrassed at first

but became troubled by Hanwha’s active courtship.

In order to have the honor of being a one-club man, he had no choice but to retire immediately

but if he went to Hanwha, he could play for another year or two as a valuable player.

Hanwha had coaching staff who were with him at SSG

including coaches Kyung-bae Jeong and Dae-jin Lee

so he was able to adapt quickly.

In the end, after two days of deep thought

Kim Kang-min decided to become a Hanwha player and went down to Daejeon to take his first steps as a Hanwha man.

It is not yet known what consequences Kim Kang-min’s choice to take on the challenge of a new team instead of being a one-club man will bring.

If Hanwha does not perform as expected

its reputation may be further damaged.

However, Hanwha plans to treat Kim Kang-min with the utmost respect for making a difficult decision.

Given Hanwha’s lineup of many promising players

Kim Kang-min has a lot to do not only on the field but also in the dugout.

Kim Kang-min is also determined to do his best for Hanwha

which has recognized his value.

Kim Kang-min said in a message to fans upon leaving SSG

I was very happy playing baseball as a one-club man for 23 years.

Now, I will try my best again with a new team.”

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