Samsung replaced all foreign pitchers with Buchanan, who demands a multi-year contract

Samsung swept both of its opening two consecutive games this year.

It won all of the opening two consecutive games against KT held at Suwon Stadium from the 23rd to the 24th.

It was an unexpected result. KT was the team that won the runner-up prize in the Korean Series last year. It is also considered one of the top five teams this year.

On the other hand, Samsung ranked eighth last year and was not recognized as a strong team again this year. Although the team compensated for its weakness by reinforcing the bullpen, it did not advance to the top five. However, Samsung reversed the judgment by winning the game.

The performance of foreign pitchers was outstanding in making the start of this season feel good.

Connor Seabold, who started the opening game, pitched well with four hits, one home run and one strikeout, eight strikeouts and two runs (one earned run) in six innings.

Thanks to Seabold taking the center stage on the mound, Samsung did not feel discouraged even after meeting “killer” William Cuevas. Cuevas also pitched well with three hits, one home run, two walks, seven strikeouts and one run in five innings, leading to a tense 1-1 match, before scoring four runs in the 10th inning of overtime.

On the next day as well, foreign pitchers displayed impressive pitching as well. Denny Reyes also achieved a quality start by allowing six hits, one out, two strikeouts and one run in six innings, and Samsung scored as many as 11 points to secure the win. He allowed as many as seven points in the ninth inning due to bullpen instability in the second half of the game, but he was able to keep the win until the end thanks to the starting pitcher’s good pitching.

Samsung changed all foreign players ahead of this season. Foreign pitchers needed replacement. Taylor Widener, who was selected as a substitute for Albert Suarez, fell short of expectations and has decided not to renew his contract.

The problem was David Buchanan. Buchanan has been with the Samsung Lions for a long time since the 2020 season. He garnered 15 wins (seven losses) in his first year and 16 wins (five losses) in 2021, becoming the first foreign pitcher to win the most wins in Samsung’s history. He also garnered 11 wins (eight losses) in 2022 and 12 wins (eight losses) in 2023, showing his double-digit wins for the fourth consecutive year. He was an ace pitcher who was guaranteed double-digit wins.

However, his contract with Buchanan was rarely renewed. Buchanan did not act on most of the conditions that Samsung had offered. Lee Jong-yeol personally visited Buchanan in the U.S., but the negotiations did not go through. What Buchanan wanted was a multi-year contract. Samsung offered the best terms that it could offer, but Buchanan did not give a definite answer. Samsung ultimately decided to break up with Buchanan.

For Samsung, there was a lot of pressure to bring a better pitcher than Buchanan.

General manager Lee Jong-yeol took responsibility for this risk. When Lee decided that all foreign pitchers should be replaced, he had to persuade his superiors. However, it was not enough to prove justification for replacement simply by video or records. It was better to sign Buchanan to make stable choice than to take chances.

Lee wrote a report on foreign pitcher candidates. It was a hefty 100 pages. He wrote a detailed explanation on why he should be hired. After recruiting Kim Jae-yoon, who became a free agent after taking the helm, Lee is undergoing negotiations with another external FA, and is working hard to keep Oh Seung-hwan, an internal FA. Despite these days, Lee continued to write a report. Connor and Reyes were the pitchers Lee strongly claimed to have been recruiting.

Then, he signed a contract with the two pitchers. Notably, Connor was an active major leaguer who played in the U.S. Major League Baseball until last season. While playing 27 games last year, Connor recorded 87.1 innings of one win and seven losses with a 7.52 ERA and 1.65 WHIP. Samsung filled the contract with 1 million U.S. dollars, which is the cap on recruiting foreign players. The contract was made on the condition of a down payment of 100,000 won, an annual salary of 800,000 dollars, and incentives of 100,000 dollars.

Reyes, who was brought in first before recruiting Connor, also played in nine games (three starts) in the Major League last season as a member of the New York Mets.

Up until the exhibition games, he had some anxiety. Connor had seven runs in nine innings with a 7.00 ERA in two games. Reyes had one win and one loss with a 3.38 ERA in two games, slightly better pitching than Connor, but the gap between the two games was too wide.

However, when I opened the lid, I found myself worried. The two pitchers made successful debuts in the KBO league.

Thanks to foreign pitchers’ strong pitching, Samsung coach Park Jin-man will be able to start the season as planned. Before the season’s opening, Park Jin-man had promised to “make wins” in the beginning of the season. He is committed to producing different results this season by banking on his new foreign player one-two punch.

BY: 스포츠토토핫

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