Foreign players are a big part of a team’s strength, and an equally big part of the team’s payroll. If you calculate the salary of three foreign players at around $3 million, that’s 3.8 billion won.
카지노사이트On top of that, you’re limited to two substitutions during the season, and it costs money to bring in a new foreign player. By the time the two substitution cards are used up, teams could be spending close to $5 billion on foreign players alone. Unsurprisingly, teams are very selective when it comes to foreign players. Many of those who predicted Lotte’s demise this season cited their foreign roster as a reason. They looked relatively safe.
Lotte re-signed all three foreign players who finished last season with them. They signed Dan Streeley for $1 million (total below), Charlie Barnes for $1.25 million, and Jack Rex for $1.3 million. The re-signings were a sign of quality. They spent a modest $3.55 million in total, but few questioned the decision. On the contrary, it was welcomed by many as a signing that would allow them to bring in more constants than other teams.
Lotte’s selection of foreign players has had sporadic success in recent years, but ultimately it’s hard to call it a success. There were high hopes for the team’s performance on the foreign front after the appointment of Sung Min-kyu, who has a deep pool of overseas contacts, but the team hasn’t been much better than the league average. We had a clear direction, but in the end, foreign players have to be judged by their performance. In that sense, I had high hopes for this year.
However, with great expectations comes great disappointment. All three have underperformed to the point where they should be considered for replacement. Despite an investment of $3.55 million, or about 4.5 billion won, they have struggled to contribute to wins, ranking near the bottom of the league.
Jack Rex, who came in as a replacement foreign player last year and performed well, has been dropped for now. A knee injury prevented him from showing proper batting balance. As a result, Rex has failed to show the same athleticism he had last year, finishing the season with a dismal .246 batting average, four home runs, 30 RBIs, and an OPS of .683 in 55 games.The knee’s role in hitting is essential. Lotte had hoped that as Rex’s knees improved, so would his hitting, but that hasn’t been the case. Power analyses showed that his weaknesses against certain courses and pitches had increased from last year. If there was confidence that the knee would recover in a short period of time, it could be argued that it was too late to replace him without knowing for sure. Lotte’s fall is not immune from the failure to fill Rex’s void.
The two foreign pitchers have even been described as “too late”. Staley, who has plenty of KBO experience, went 3-5 with a 4.37 ERA in 16 games last season. Charlie Barnes is also 5-6 with a 4.57 ERA in 16 games, well below his ERA from last year (3.62). Lotte suffered a domino effect in the early part of the season as the bullpen was overburdened by the struggles of the two foreigners, and eventually the bullpen suffered a domino collapse in the second half of the season, ultimately destroying their once generous five-win percentage in the process.
Both players’ command and stuff are not as good as they were last year. They have the same trajectory of slumping, hopefulness with a slight rebound, and then slumping again. They’ve certainly seen their ‘highs’, so it’s understandable that they’d be left with some regrets, but they’re actually on the upswing. They’ll be well-rested and ready for the second half of the season, but it’s not like they’ve been short of rest so far.
Lotte is not without a list of alternative foreign pitchers, but like the other teams, the situation in the United States is not favourable, and there is no one who can give them confidence in terms of comparative advantage. Rex did have an excuse for being replaced, a knee injury, but it’s not like the two players were sick. We’re still waiting for them to get back to their best, but the problem is that it’s taking too long.
Another issue with foreign players is money. As one former manager told me, “It’s often the parent company’s final decision to replace a foreign player.” It’s an admission of failure on the part of the club, and it’s up to the club’s higher-ups to convince them that it’s worth the extra hundreds of millions of won. For teams like Lotte, who spent a lot of money before the season, the process will be more difficult.
Spending an extra $400,000 on a new foreign batsman, Niko Gudrum, could easily be interpreted as a sign of “commitment” by Lotte Group decision-makers. If a decent player comes along from the US or other leagues and they decide to play their one remaining card, it will be interesting to see who gets offloaded. Neither Staley nor Barnes are safe.