The spotlight is now shining on Lee Jung-hoo, 25.
Now that the Korean Series is over, the biggest concern for Korean fans is where Lee Jung-hoo and Ryu Hyun-jin will go. However, there have been several articles in the U.S. media suggesting that Lee will join the Yankees. In particular, there have been reports that mention the length of the contract and the specific amount of the contract. It’s still a long way off, but the fact that it’s being repeatedly linked means that the team is definitely interested.
Regardless of whether the speculation is true or not, the Yankees are a good fit for the young outfielder in many ways.
First, the American media outlet justbaseball published an article predicting the contracts and expected teams of the 2023-2024 MLB Free Agents.
They even gave specific timeframes and dollar amounts, predicting that Lee would sign a five-year contract with the New York Yankees for $60 million.
In introducing Lee, the article said, “He is one of the biggest wild cards in this year’s free agency. In seven seasons in the Korean Baseball Organization, Lee has a .340/.407/.491 slash line with an .898 OPS. While he was limited to 86 games in 2023, he played in 142 games in 2022, hitting 23 home runs and driving in 113 runs.” “He can play all three outfield positions and is rated as an above-average defender in center field.”
Another described Lee as a rookie wild card, ranking him as the No. 2 outfielder among Rookie of the Year candidates.
“If a team sees him as a full-time center fielder, he’ll be a very attractive free agent given his ability to get on base consistently and that he’s only 25 years old,” the publication concluded.
But justbaseball wasn’t the only media outlet to speculate on Lee’s future with the Yankees. There’s more. Two days ago, MLB.com also published an article predicting Lee to the Yankees.
Anthony Castrovince looked at the offseason of about 13 teams and wrote, “The Yankees are a great fit for Bellinger, Lee, Lourdes Gurriel Jr. and other outfielders. Overall, the New York Yankees will have to make a number of moves to get younger, more balanced, and more agile. And that means they will be active in that free agent market.”
The New York Yankees don’t have a strong history with Korean players, although Chan Ho Park did wear a Yankees uniform in the latter part of his career. However, even without a Korean player, the team is known in Korea as one of the most prestigious 토토 teams in MLB’s Northeast division. The New York Yankees are considered a symbol of ‘rich club’ or ‘prestigious club’.
While it’s still a long way off and just a speculation, if Lee can pull on a Yankees jersey, the impact will be beyond imagination. Many fans are eagerly waiting to see if Lee will be able to wear the stripes on the American stage.