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KBO's Heroes acquire outfielder Lee Yong-kyu

All News 14:00 November 10, 2020

By Yoo Jee-ho

SEOUL, Nov. 10 (Yonhap) -- Less than a week after getting released by one team, veteran outfielder Lee Yong-kyu has found a new home with another.

The Kiwoom Heroes of the Korea Baseball Organization (KBO) announced Tuesday they have signed the 35-year-old Lee to a one-year deal worth 100 million won (US$89,700). He can make up to another 50 million won in incentives.

The Hanwha Eagles declined to pick up their club option on Lee last Thursday, cutting ties with their captain after seven years.

In this file photo from Oct. 7, 2020, Lee Yong-kyu of the Hanwha Eagles hits a two-run single against the Kia Tigers in the top of the seventh inning of a Korea Baseball Organization regular season game at Gwangju-Kia Champions Field in Gwangju, 330 kilometers south of Seoul. (Yonhap)

Lee played in 120 out of 144 games in 2020 and led the club with 120 hits, 60 runs scored and 17 steals. The Eagles finished last among 10 clubs with a 46-95-3 (wins-losses-ties) record, and they suffered an 18-game losing streak to tie the KBO's futility record.

The Eagles have been cleaning house since the end of the regular season on Oct. 31 and have released other 30-something veterans as they look to rebuild.

Lee thanked the Heroes for reaching out to him and giving him a chance to continue his career.

The Heroes' general manager Kim Chi-hyun said Lee will add a veteran presence to the young Heroes club, and he will bring a ton of experience and enthusiasm to the clubhouse.

The 17-year pro is a lifetime .301 hitter. Among active players, Lee is fourth with 1,038 runs scored and second with 363 steals.

In this file photo from Sept. 4, 2020, Lee Yong-kyu of the Hanwha Eagles gives a thumbs-up after hitting an RBI single against the Kiwoom Heroes in the bottom of the fifth inning of a Korea Baseball Organization regular season game at Hanwha Life Eagles Park in Daejeon, 160 kilometers south of Seoul. (Yonhap)

jeeho@yna.co.kr
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