MLB.com, the official site of Major League Baseball, announced today the top free agents by position. In the infield, Cody Bellinger was named the top free agent. Jung-Hoo Lee was not named the top free agent infielder, but he was mentioned as one of the other top players.
Lee is one of the best hitters in South Korea, with a career batting average of .344 (3476-for-1181), 65 home runs, 515 RBIs, and an OPS of .898 in 884 career KBO games. Last season, he batted 30-for-44 (193-for-553) with 23 home runs, 113 RBIs and a .996 OPS in 142 games, winning five batting titles (batting average, slugging percentage, on-base percentage, RBIs and runs scored) and the league MVP.
Lee, who declared for the major leagues ahead of this season, struggled early in the season and had surgery on an ankle injury in July. However, in 86 games, he batted .301 (105-for-330) with six home runs, 45 RBIs, and an OPS of .861.
Lee is attracting a lot of interest from major league clubs, especially those looking to bolster their middle infield. San Francisco general manager Pete Putilla traveled to Gocheok SkyDome to watch Lee’s final at-bat in the KBO in Kiwoom’s final home game.토토사이트
While Lee has been getting a lot of attention from Major League Baseball teams, he seems to have fallen down the list of free agent center field priorities. That’s because Cody Bellinger, the 2019 National League MVP, is in free agency.
Bellinger, who has seen a steep decline since winning the MVP award, suffered the humiliation of being released by the Dodgers as a non-tender after last season. But after signing a one-year, $17.5 million deal with the Cubs this offseason, Bellinger has rebounded, batting .499 (153-for-49) with 26 homers, 97 RBIs and an .881 OPS in 130 games.
According to MLB.com, “With the Cubs, Bellinger had his best season since winning MVP honors in 2019. With a chance to prove he can return to the form he had earlier in his powerful career, Bellinger should earn a contract worth more than $100 million if he stays healthy.”
While Lee didn’t make the list of top free agent center fielders, he was mentioned alongside Kevin Kiermaier, Harrison Vader, Aaron Hicks, and Michael A. Taylor as players to watch. Of the players mentioned alongside Lee, Kiermeyer is an exceptional center fielder who has won four Gold Gloves (2015, 2016, 2019, 2023), including this year. Hicks is a veteran center fielder who signed a seven-year, $70 million contract with the Yankees in 2019. He has yet to play in the major leagues, but he’s already being talked about in the same breath as the starting center fielders.
The Major League Baseball officially announced the players who rejected qualifying offers on the 15th, marking the start of the offseason. One of the biggest names in pitching, Yoshinobu Yamamoto (Orix), will apply for posting on April 21. Lee Jung-hoo will also officially begin the process soon, ahead of the Major League Baseball Winter Meetings scheduled for April 7-7.
Fans are eagerly anticipating which team will sign Lee, who has attracted the attention of many major league clubs along with other top-notch infielders.