After failing to acquire two-way star Shohei Ohtani, the San Francisco Giants wasted no time in making another significant move in free agency.
According to MLB Network insider Jon Morosi, the Giants have inked a six-year deal worth $113 million with South Korean outfielder Jung-Hoo Lee. The 25-year-old has played his entire professional career with the Kiwoom Heroes of the KBO League in South Korea.
The Giants were reportedly among the finalists for Ohtani, who ultimately signed with the rival Los Angeles Dodgers on a historic 10-year deal worth $700 million. The Toronto Blue Jays and Chicago Cubs were also in the running for Ohtani before his decision to join Los Angeles.
However, unlike the Cubs and Blue Jays, the Giants swiftly shifted their focus to another prominent free agent and have now secured a potential franchise star in Lee, who was named KBO League MVP in the 2022 season.
Lee holds an impressive .340 career batting average in the KBO League with 65 home runs and 515 RBI. Additionally, he has a remarkably low strikeout rate, having been struck out only 304 times in 3,476 at bats.
The Giants are coming off back-to-back losing seasons, having experienced a late-season collapse that cost them a spot in the NL’s wild card race. Their first major move this offseason was parting ways with manager Gabe Kapler and appointing Bob Melvin as his replacement.
Now, they have a promising 25-year-old talent to build their future around.