SSG Landers Terminate Contract with Manager Kim Won-hyong After Failed Title Defense

SEOUL: Following a failed title defense, South Korean baseball club SSG Landers announced on Tuesday the termination of their contract with manager Kim Won-hyong, who was less than a year into his tenure as the highest-paid manager in the league.

According to Yonhap News Agency, The Korea Baseball Organization (KBO) club stated the reason for the termination was the need to "implement change and innovation" for the long-term development of the Landers. Kim Won-hyong took over the team in 2021 and led them to a Korean Series championship in 2022, a season in which the Landers led the regular season from start to finish.

After this achievement, the Landers extended Kim's contract for three more years with a value of 2.2 billion won (US$1.6 million), making him the highest-paid manager in the league at that time. However, the Landers were swept in three games by the NC Dinos in the best-of-five first round of this year's postseason, finishing with the third-best regular-season record of 76-65-3.

The club clarified that the decision was not a hasty response to their early exit from the playoffs. "We conducted a thorough, objective internal review after the postseason. We concluded that we needed to implement change and innovation for the continuous growth of the team," the club said in a statement.

The decision to terminate Kim's contract was reached on Tuesday morning, and general manager Kim Sung-yong informed Kim Won-hyong of the news around 12:30 p.m. Tuesday, according to the Landers.

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