Wednesday, July 15, 2009

A Trade? During the Season? In the KBO? It's Possible

Here's a translation from the newest member of team TSoKB, Simon. We'll get a bio on Simon later, but for now, here's his first official contribution.

Samsung and Doosan: The First Public Trade Talks.. Why?

Samsung brings up sudden catcher trade proposal to Doosan.

It might seem natural for Samsung to bring up a trade to solve their catcher issues. But a "public" trade is definitely something new. Samsung manager Seon Dong-yeol and Doosan manager Kim Kyong-moon have been discussing this issue very openly. Big trades usually happen behind closed doors, but both managers have chosen to discuss the trade publicly. What could be the reason?

Reason 1: Needs are clearly seen.

Injured Samsung catcher Jin Gap-yong is out for the season with a knee surgery and his back-up Hyun Jae-yun has been complaining of shoulder pains since since July 14th. Hyun caught for Samsung while Lee Jin-yong made his KBO debut. The idea of a trade might have come up here. A target team might have become clear. Doosan had a bad experience with catchers: Chae Sang-byong and Kim Jin-soo. Samsung has left handed pitchers that Doosan may need:Ji Seung-min, Baek Jeong-hyon, Park Seong-hoon. Doosan might have been pleading for help in this game.

Reason 2: A new co-operative relationship between Samsung and Doosan.

These two teams get along very well, in many aspects of the game. Managers Kim Kyeong-moon and Seon Dong-yeol were roomates during their time at Korea University. It's a very close relationship indeed. Kim publicly thanked Seon for advice given during the Beijing Olympics. Samsung was a dominant team in the 2000's and it was very difficult to conduct a trade between Samsung and another team. But Doosan was the exception. In 2006, Kang Dong-woo was traded for Kang Bong-kyu and Kim Chang-hui and and Kim Deog-yun was successfully traded for Cho Hyun-gun.

Reason 3: The idea of a trade has changed.

Both managers may have changed the way they think about trading players. Instead of thinking of a trade as where they accept the leftovers of another team, they are thinking of it as a way to improve their teams. Successful KIA 3rd baseman Kim Sang-hyun is a great example. Players see how he succeeded after his trade and want to follow in his example. Managers see players who may not be sucessful with their teams try harder to get traded so that they may succeed with another team. A trade is now considered a 'favor' and there is nothing to hide.

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