According to the 2023 annual salary status announced by KBO on the 7th, the highest salary this season is Ja-wook Koo of the Samsung Lions.
He gets an annual salary of 2 billion won this year. Chae Eun-seong of the Hanwha Eagles is second with 1.8 billion won, and Choo Shin-soo of SSG Landers is third with 1.7 billion won. Among the pitchers, Park Se-woong of the Lotte Giants has the most with 1.5 billion won.메이저놀이터
However, the name of Yang Eui-ji, who returned to Doosan Bears after signing a free agent contract last winter, is not visible among the top five players in each club’s annual salary. Doosan’s top five players are Kim Jae-hwan (1.5 billion won), Huh Gyeong-min (1.2 billion won), Su-bin Su (600 million won), Kim Jae-ho (500 million won), and Yang Seok-hwan (400 million won). Checking with the KBO, Yang Eui-ji’s annual salary this year is 300 million won.
Yang Eui-ji signed a contract for up to 15.2 billion won for ‘4+2 years’. He has a down payment of 4.4 billion won, and the total annual salary received for 4 years from this year to 2026 is 6.6 billion won. Subtracting the annual salary of 300 million won this year, he will receive a total annual salary of 6.3 billion won over the next three years. Although the annual salary set for each year is unknown, he will receive an average annual salary of 2.1 billion won from 2023 to 2026. This does not include down payment.
According to the KBO rules, the down payment is to be paid in two installments: within 30 days after the player contract is approved, and within 30 days after the league ends. So, Yang Eui-ji received all of the down payment of 4.4 billion won at the beginning and end of this year, so the actual money received this year is 4.7 billion won, including the annual salary of 300 million won. This means that the ranking of players’ salaries minus the down payment, which is the player’s actual income, is meaningless.
Chae Eun-seong also decided to receive up to 9 billion won for 6 years when he signed a FA contract with Hanwha last winter, but the down payment is 3.6 billion won and the total annual salary is 4.4 billion won. He is earning 5.4 billion won this year alone, including an annual salary of 1.8 billion won and a down payment of 3.6 billion won.
Another case where the annual salary ranking is meaningless is SSG Kim Gwang-hyun. When he returned from the major leagues early last year, he signed a four-year contract worth 15.1 billion won. SSG announced that the total annual salary was 13.1 billion won and the incentive was 2 billion won. Kim Gwang-hyun’s annual salary last year was ‘a whopping’ 8.1 billion won. This year’s annual salary is 1 billion won. It is a 7.1 billion won cut, but it is a measure to avoid sanctions for violating the salary cap introduced from this year.
Since the down payment is excluded from the annual salary ranking, and the club sets the annual salary in a deformed manner as a trick to avoid the salary cap, the annual salary ranking announced by the KBO should be seen as far from reality.
Based on the guaranteed amount, Lee Dae-ho is still the highest ransom ever. Returning to Lotte for 15 billion won in 4 years in 2017, he received an average annual salary of 3.75 billion won. Kim Kwang-Hyun’s 13.1 billion won divided by 4 years is 3.275 billion won, and Yang Eui-ji also receives an annual average of 2.75 billion won for 4 years, which is an objective ransom and actual annual salary. The annual average ransom is 2.75 billion won for Doosan Kim Jae-hwan (4-year guarantee 11 billion won), LG Twins Kim Hyun-soo (4-year guarantee 9 billion won) 2.25 billion won, and KIA Tigers Na Seong-beom (6-year guarantee 12 billion won) 2 billion won. It also exceeds 20 billion won.
In summary, Lee Dae-ho still has the largest contract record ever, and Kim Gwang-hyun, Yang Eui-ji, Kim Jae-hwan, Kim Hyun-soo, and Na Seong-beom form the top class as active players. In the era of free agency and multi-year contracts, a ransom ranking system including down payment is needed.
Even if you look at the annual salary of each team announced by the KBO on this day, it is the same that ‘excluding down payment’ and ‘annual salary set as a trick’ are reflected. The annual salary of SSG’s players this year was 9.482 billion won, down 35.1% from last year’s 14.604 billion won. This is a natural figure as Kim Gwang-hyun’s annual salary for ‘book manager’ has decreased by 7.1 billion won. Regarding this, no one sees that SSG has been strangling the players this year.
Of course, when the KBO investigates whether the salary cap is violated after the season, it includes and adds up the down payment and the actual amount of incentive payments, so the penalty is normally imposed according to the actual amount of expenditure.