The Kia Tigers bolster their lineup with a veteran catcher. Samsung Lions veteran catcher Kim Tae-gun is the man.
According to MK Sports, Samsung and KIA have agreed to a one-for-one trade that will send Kim Tae-gun to the KIA organization. KIA officially announced the one-for-one trade of Ryu Ji-hyuk and Kim Tae-gun in a press release at 1:40 p.m. KST.
When asked by MK Sports about the trade prior to the press release, a KIA representative said, “There is nothing we can officially say about the trade right now.”
KIA has been plagued by a catching shortage since the beginning of the season, with opening day catchers Han Seung-taek and Joo Hyo-sang dropping out of the first team roster due to injury and poor play, respectively. Shin Beom-soo and Han Joon-soo, two young catchers who came up from the Future Team, have also been criticized for their up-and-down performances as of late.
Finally, after consistently knocking on the trade door, KIA has reportedly agreed to a trade for veteran catcher Kim Tae-gun, who recently played for Samsung.
Kim appeared in 49 games this season 즉시지급, batting .256 with 32 hits, one home run, and 18 RBIs. Playing in a “three-catcher system” with Kang Min-ho and Kim Jae-sung, Kim didn’t get much playing time. From KIA’s point of view, the addition of Kim Tae-gun, who needs more playing time, will help bolster the lineup and motivate the players.
KIA had been at the negotiating table with Samsung for a pitcher for a long time. However, a new idea has recently emerged in the form of a one-for-one trade in which a pitcher is traded for a bat. In the end, Samsung, which had recently fallen to the bottom of the league due to a lack of pitching, decided to acquire Ryu Ji-hyuk to bolster its outfield.
Ryu appeared in 66 games this season, batting .268 with 59 hits and 17 RBIs. Ryu Ji-hyeok was the primary outfielder in the KIA infield in the first half of the season, splitting time between third base and second base. His presence in the outfield was significant, so the loss of him will be significant.
Still, from KIA’s perspective, the infield traffic needed to be cleared up given Kim Do-young’s return from injury and the return of Kim Sun-bin. In the end, KIA decided to cut Ryu to bolster the weak position of catcher. The veteran catcher’s presence will also have a positive effect on the pitchers on the mound.