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Samsung Lions' manager returns on record deal after winning third straight KBO title

All Headlines 10:57 December 09, 2013

SEOUL, Dec. 9 (Yonhap) -- Ryu Joong-il, the manager of the three-time reigning South Korean baseball champ Samsung Lions, will be with the club for three more seasons after signing a record-breaking contract, the team announced Monday.

The Korea Baseball Organization (KBO) club said they re-signed Ryu for three more years, with an annual salary of 500 million won (US$473,000) and a signing bonus of 600 million won.

Ryu, 50, will be the first KBO manager to make 500 million won per season. Kim Kyung-moon of the NC Dinos and Cho Beom-hyun of the KT Wiz, an expansion club set to join the league in 2015, are each earning 400 million won per year.

Ryu, a former All-Star shortstop known for his slick fielding for the Lions, took over as the manager of his former team in December 2010, weeks after the team lost to the SK Wyverns in the championship Korean Series.

With Ryu at the helm, the Lions went on to win the next three Korean Series. In 2013, they came back from a 3-1 Korean Series deficit against the Doosan Bears to claim the title in seven games.

The Lions are the first KBO team ever to win the pennant and the Korean Series in three straight seasons.

Under his previous three-year deal, Ryu made 200 million won per season.

"I am just a very happy manager, having won three straight championships with a great group of players and coaches, and an enthusiastic front office," Ryu said through the team. "It's an honor to sign such a large contract. I will give everything I have to make sure we build on the past three seasons and remain in contention over the next three years as well."

The Lions will have a major hole in their bullpen next year, after their closer, Oh Seung-hwan, signed with the Hanshin Tigers in Japan as a free agent last month. Oh is the KBO's all-time leader in saves with 277 and won two Korean Series MVPs with Samsung.


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