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Hwang Jae-gyun is set to face off against his best friend

Hwang Jae-gyun (37-KT Wiz), who was a formidable opponent for Ryu Hyun-jin (37-Hanwha Eagles) during his time with the Lotte Giants, is set to face off against his best friend on his return to Korea after 12 years.

‘Korean Monster’ Ryu Hyun-jin has returned to the KBO after 11 years in the U.S. Major League Baseball.

Ryu signed an eight-year, 17 billion won ($17 billion) contract (including an opt-out – the details of the opt-out were agreed upon by both parties) with his hometown Hanwha on March 23. This is the highest multi-year contract in the KBO, surpassing the previous record of 15.2 billion won for 4+2 years for Doosan Yang-ji. It also surpasses Kim Kwang-hyun’s four-year, 15.1 billion won contract, which he signed in 2022 after playing for the St. Louis Cardinals.

Under the deal, Ryu will start this season at 37 years old and will be able to play in a Hanwha uniform until he is 44 years old (2031). 안전놀이터 If Ryu fulfills the full term of his contract, he will make history in Korean professional baseball by surpassing Song Jin-woo’s record of 43 years, 7 months, and 7 days as the oldest player to play for Hanwha.

Ryu joined the Los Angeles Dodgers of Major League Baseball through the posting system prior to the 2013 season. The system requires players who go overseas to return to their original team upon their return to Korea, so Ryu became an Eagle again.

Ryu, who is eligible for free agency after the 2023 season with the Toronto Blue Jays

He was unable to get a satisfactory offer in the local market due to his injury history and age. Since last month, he has been consistently linked to multiple teams in need of starting pitching reinforcements, including the San Diego Padres, Baltimore Orioles, Boston Red Sox, and San Francisco Giants, but the rumors have only grown. Baltimore, which recently lost two starters to injuries, was mentioned as a possible destination, but it was only a rumor.

On the 19th, a media outlet reported that Ryu had decided to ship his belongings from his home in Toronto, Canada, to Korea, and the rumors of his return to Hanwha began to gain momentum. Soon after, news broke that Ryu had agreed to return to Hanwha, and the two sides worked out the details of the deal, finally making it “official” on the 22nd. On the morning of the 23rd, Ryu departed for Hanwha’s second spring training camp in Okinawa, Japan, via Incheon International Airport Terminal 2.

Hwang Jae-gyun, a ‘best friend’ of Ryu’s who heard about his return from Busan Gijang, the first spring training camp, said, “(Ryu) is a great player and a good player. I think having a player like him back in Korea will make the KBO more popular. I think it’s a good direction for Korean players. “Hyun-jin has never played against KT before, so it will be a good thing for Korean players. I think it will be fun for both KT and Hanwha fans,” said Hwang, who welcomed his friend’s return after 12 years.

Hwang Jae-gyun said that before the announcement of Ryu’s return

He had been in regular contact with Ryu in Korea and even had a meal with him. “I’m in touch with him often, but I didn’t talk about the contract. We just talked about things like, ‘How are you doing,’ and ‘When is the contract coming? Hyun-jin must have been stressed at the time, and I didn’t want to add to his stress.”

Hwang Jae-gyun was a strong hitter against Hyun-jin in the KBO, batting 2-for-8 with 13 RBIs in 45 at-bats. After struggling to hit 1-for-6 with the Hyundai Unicorns and 1-for-6 with the Heroes, Hwang went 2-for-3 with three RBIs in 13 at-bats with Lotte, where he went 3-for-6 with two RBIs and a walk in 26 at-bats.

Hwang Jae-gyun said, “I think I hit in the low 20s against (Ryu) Hyun-jin. I remember he used to hit often,” which is pretty close to the actual data.

However, recent memory is not good. 바카라사이트 In 2017, when he was with the San Francisco Giants in the Major League Baseball, he went 0-for-2 against Ryu Hyun-jin of the Los Angeles Dodgers.

“Seven years ago, I was younger, and Hyun-jin was younger. Hyun-jin had a really good ball then, and he made fun of me with his unique way of speaking and facial expressions,” Hwang said, laughing as he recalled his time in the United States.

“If I hit well this time, I’ll make fun of him, and if I hit badly, he’ll make fun of me. If I hit well, he’ll tease me, saying, ‘You can’t do it anymore because you went to the U.S.,'” Hwang said, expressing his excitement for the matchup with his best friend.


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