“If you keep polishing it, even if it’s not a gem…” Overcoming two releases, FA contracts at 39 years old reveal the secret to human victory

How was veteran right-hander Lim Chang-min (39, Samsung) able to sign an FA contract at an age when he was safe to retire after overcoming two releases.월카지노도메인

Lim Chang-min signed a two-year contract with the Samsung Lions for a total of 800 million won (down payment of 300 million won, annual salary of 400 million won, option of 100 million won) on the 5th of last month. After completing the contract, Samsung, which made reinforcing the bullpen a top priority, was satisfied, saying, “We expect to build the league’s best bullpen and create positive synergy with young players in the team through recruitment of veteran pitcher Lim Chang-min.”

“My contract got more attention than I thought,” Lim told reporters ahead of the spring camp in Okinawa, Japan. “Fortunately, I feel less burdened because there are two better pitchers (Oh Seung-hwan and Kim Jae-yoon) than me. I need to play a role in connecting them, and I wonder what kind of season it will be. I have high expectations that I can create synergy with existing players because I prepared well,” Lim said.

He has turned 39 this year, but he is in better shape than any other off-season. “I have always taken good care of my body, but I am doing particularly well this year. That’s why I put on more weight and did a little bit of heavy weight. I’m looking forward to what kind of changes will happen,” Lim said. “Everyone underestimated me because of my age. But I enjoyed that. It’s because if you lower your evaluation, you will have room to turn it around. I think I will prove that this season,” Lim said in a confident voice.

Im Chang-min, born in 1985, is a right-handed veteran pitcher who was selected 11th in the second round of Hyundai in the 2008 rookie draft 16 years ago.

His heyday was when he was working for the NC Dinos. After serving as the Heroes and Nexen Heroes, he entered the Dinos through a trade in November 2012, and secured the back door for nine years. He has achieved 25 saves (86 saves in total) for three consecutive years since 2015, and after winning his first combined title in 2020, he displayed robust performance with an ERA of 3.79 at 17 holds in 46 games in 2021.

However, the reality that came to Lim Chang-min after the end of the season was his release. Due to the NC team’s massive reorganization of the team, he was notified that he could not renew his contract in November 2021, and he unintentionally became a free agent.

The Doosan Bears reached out to Lim. Before the 2022 season, Lim sought to make a comeback by signing an annual salary of 120 million won with Doosan, but fell short of expectations with an ERA of 3.95 with two saves and six holds in 32 games. After a brilliant performance with two saves and six holds with an ERA of 0.96 in 11 games early in the season, he frequently exchanged between the first and second teams due to elbow and finger injuries and sluggish performances. And the ending was release again.

Lim Chang-min, who has become an independent again, signed a contract with his former club Kiwoom for an annual salary of 100 million won, and extended his active duty for the 2023 season. He was evaluated as having achieved his second heyday with a rejuvenating pitching of two wins, two losses, 26 saves and one hold with an ERA of 2.51 in 51 games. At an age when it is safe to announce retirement, he has burned his last flame and ranked sixth in the save category, beating younger closers including Jung Hae-young (KIA) and Hong Geon-hee (Doosan).

Lim proudly exercised his rights as an FA after the 2023 season. He was listed as a C-rated player on the 2024 FA-approved list announced by the KBO on Nov. 18 last year, and eventually became an FA contractor after being selected by Samsung, which needs reinforcement of the bullpen. It was a moment when he overcame two releases to impress human beings at the late age of 39.

Lim Chang-min said, “I feel like an outsider. I always did that. Also, my friends who are outsiders always come to me,” adding, “If you excel at what you have, you will stand out like a gem. Even if you don’t, you can shine if you keep brushing your teeth. I hope many players have confidence that you can do it while looking at me. I also hope that I will play well during the contract period with Samsung.”

Lim will compete with other league-leading closers including Oh Seung-hwan and Kim Jae-yoon for the closing position in the spring camp. However, he has no desire to take charge of the ninth inning. “It is not something I can say that I want (to wrap up) or I have no intention of doing it. I don’t want to suffer there. Of course, I should do it if I tell him to, but I don’t want to find it,” Lim said. “I think the team will take care of me because I am an old player. I think I will feel less pressure and more comfortable.”

As a veteran, he mentioned the team first, not the individual. “For seniors, individual performances do not matter much. Team performance is the top priority,” Lim said. “Based on Samsung’s external assessment, they have capability outside of the five strongest teams. However, I think they are capable of advancing to the top five. Since there are few expectations, they can play the season without any burden, and if they go higher than experts expect, there will be a lot of rewards. If you do what you have been doing, you will get a lot of rewards.”

Lim Chang-min plans to help young pitchers grow by volunteering as mentors at Samsung, just like he did at Doosan and Kiwoom in the past. “I think it would be good if I could be a help to younger players. I will approach them first, and I think younger players will approach me as well. If there is anything I can do, I will open up everything and let them know. I hope we can compete in good faith and develop everything,” he said.

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