San Francisco Giants sign Jung Hoo Lee to six-year, $113 million deal
Dec 12, 2023, 3:39 PM | Updated: 4:01 pm
(Photo by Kenta Harada/Getty Images)
The San Francisco Giants have made its first move of the offseason.
According to MLB Network’s Jon Heyman, the Giants have reached an agreement with South Korean outfielder Jung Hoo Lee on a six-year, $113 million contract that will run through the 2029 season.
Lee, 25, is a left-handed batting, right-handed throwing phenom who has played center field for the Kiwoom Heroes of the KBO League since 2017.
The 2022 KBO MVP can opt out of his contract after the fourth year (2027), per multiple reports.
Jeff Young of Fansisded reports that Lee’s $113 million deal is the largest in San Francisco Giants history for a free agent position player.
The Giants land Jung Hoo Lee pic.twitter.com/jjGF7TVjok
— Talkin’ Baseball (@TalkinBaseball_) December 12, 2023
About new Giants outfielder Jung Hoo Lee
Lee was one of the notable bats available on the market this offseason, and with Shohei Ohtani heading to the Los Angeles Dodgers and Juan Soto being traded to the New York Yankees, San Francisco jumped in and acquired a solid bat to put at the top of their 2024 lineup and beyond.
The Korean star has been a force in the KBO, where he has hit .340 with 1,181 hits, 65 home runs, and 515 RBI over seven seasons (884 games).
It’s no secret that the Giants have been looking for stability in the outfield, with center field acting as a revolving door over the past couple of seasons.
In Lee, San Francisco has an outfielder who has logged nearly 5,000 innings in center since he started his professional baseball career.
Getting on base is another thing that Lee will bring to the table. In 2023, the new Giant hit .318 while walking 49 times (against 23 strikeouts) over 86 games.
Those walk numbers might jump off the page, but that’s just last year alone. During his KBO career, Lee has walked 383 times while striking out just 304 times.
Lee will fit a few needs for San Francisco, first as a lead-off threat due to his elite walk rate, contact rate, and on-base percentage (.407 career).
This was a move that the Giants simply had to make. After missing out on countless free agents over the years–Aaron Judge, Bryce Harper, and Ohtani, to name a few–San Francisco has successfully brought a high-level talent to the Bay Area.
With Lee in the fold, all eyes will turn to Japanese starter Yoshinobu Yamamoto, who is meeting with teams in Los Angeles–including the Giants this past weekend–as he inches closer to picking his MLB home.
USA Today’s Bob Nightengale also reports that San Francisco continues to show interest in free agent outfielder/first-baseman Cody Bellinger–even with Lee signing his deal.
SF Giants Schedule
- February 13-15th – Pitchers and catchers report for Spring Training workouts
- February TBD – Full squad workouts
- Saturday, February 24th – Spring Training opener vs. Chicago Cubs