Seoul: Ham Deok-ju Re-signs Four-Year Contract with LG Twins

Seoul, South Korea - In a significant move for the LG Twins, the team has successfully re-signed free agent pitcher Ham Deok-ju to a four-year contract. The announcement came this Sunday, ensuring that Ham remains with the Twins, his original club, despite drawing interest from Major League Baseball (MLB) teams.

According to Yonhap News Agency, the 28-year-old reliever's contract is valued at up to 3.8 billion won (approximately US$2.9 million). Over the four years, Ham will receive a total salary of 1.4 billion won, along with a 600 million won signing bonus. Additionally, the contract includes performance-based incentives potentially worth 1.8 billion won. "I am happy to get this deal done before the end of the year," Ham expressed in a statement. "I was happy to have stayed healthy this season. I will try to stay consistent on the mound going forward."

Ham's performance in the recent season was pivotal in the LG Twins' success. He achieved a career-best 1.62 ERA in 57 appearances, playing a crucial role in leading the Twins to their first Korean Series title in 29 years this November. His impressive form caught the attention of MLB, with the league conducting a status check on him by the end of November. This procedure is part of the agreement between MLB and the Korea Baseball Organization (KBO), allowing MLB teams to express interest in South Korean players, both professional and amateur. However, MLB does not disclose the identities of the clubs interested in Korean players.

Before joining the Twins, Ham was a fifth-round draft choice by the Doosan Bears in 2012 and made his KBO debut with them in 2013. After a trade to the Twins in 2021, Ham faced challenges including blisters and elbow problems, leading to limited appearances in the 2021 and 2022 seasons. However, his return to form in 2023, with 55 2/3 innings pitched, was his most since 2018. In the recent Korean Series, Ham pitched in four of the five games, contributing significantly to the Twins' victory.

Of the 19 players in free agency this winter, nine, including Ham Deok-ju, have secured contracts with teams.

scroll to top