Lotte opted for 200 percent compensation instead of a compensation player. This is a relief for Hanwha, which was worried about a pitching brain drain.
Lotte chose to receive only non-player compensation for Ahn Chi-hong, who was transferred to Hanwha on July 27. When Ahn Chi-hong, a Class B free agent, moved to Hanwha, Lotte had the option of receiving 100 percent of the previous year’s salary plus one compensatory player, minus 25 protected players, or 200 percent of the previous year’s salary without a compensatory player.굿모닝토토
Lotte chose the latter. While most teams opt for a compensatory player when they lose a free agent, Lotte had until the 27th deadline to decide on free agent compensation before deciding to take the compensatory player. The team ended the FA compensation process by collecting 1 billion won in compensation, which is 200 percent of Ahn Chi-hong’s salary of 500 million won this year.
If Lotte had chosen a compensation player, it would have received only 500 million won in compensation. From Lotte’s point of view, there was no compensation player worth 500 million won in Hanwha.
This can be interpreted in two ways. First, it shows how thin Hanwha’s player base is. Hanwha, which hasn’t finished higher than 9th or 10th in the last five years, is one of the weakest teams in the league, with a huge gap between starters and backups. It’s not surprising that a player who doesn’t make the 20-man or 25-man roster would be valued at less than 500 million won. The lack of compensatory player outflows is also something that Hanwha can’t be happy about, as it means the team is weak.
However, Hanwha’s depth isn’t as bad as it used to be, and the team has done a good job of organizing its protected player roster. They had a lot of prospects that they had accumulated over the years, so they didn’t immediately have a full complement of players on the disabled list, but they made the best of it. I expected there to be an outflow from the pitching side, but Lotte had enough resources for that spot, and it wasn’t too tempting.
Lotte focused on filling the void left by Ahn Chi-hong by selecting infielders Oh Sun-jin and Choi Hang in the second round of the draft. On the pitching side, Lotte needed a left-handed bullpen, and Hanwha’s compensatory picks were not enough, so Lotte made a trade with LG to acquire veteran left-handed reliever Jin Hae-soo for a fifth-round pick in the 2025 Rookie Draft before giving up the compensatory pick.
Hanwha signed Ahn Chi-hong as a free agent on April 19 for up to 7.2 billion won ($7.2 million) over 4+2 years and began work on its protected list early. The team is said to have better pitching depth than bullpens, so they immediately lost several power pitchers. Hanwha was also prepared to lose pitchers. They acquired right-hander Lee Sang-kyu with the second pick of the first round and sidearm Bae Min-seo with the 13th pick of the third round in the second round of the Ahn Chi-hong draft, preparing for a possible compensatory player outflow.
Hanwha was anxious to see who Lotte would pick, saying, “I wonder who they’re going to take…” They immediately assumed that Lotte would pick a pitcher and prepared alternative resources, but they were wrong. With Lotte opting for the compensation money, Hanwha was able to keep one more player in the lineup without losing any compensation players. This is not a bad result for Hanwha, who had one player to spare. As a result, Hanwha’s cost of signing Ahn Chi-hong increased to 8.2 billion won ($7.2 million) on a 4+2 year, 7.2 billion won contract, plus 1 billion won in compensation.