SF Giants outfield target and KBO star officially posted by Kiwoom Heroes

Sumsung Lions v Kiwoom Heroes
Sumsung Lions v Kiwoom Heroes / Han Myung-Gu/GettyImages

The Kiwoom Heroes officially posted star outfield Jung-Hoo Lee on Monday. Bob Nightengale of USA Today expects that the SF Giants will be one of the teams involved in the bidding process.

SF Giants outfield target and KBO star officially posted by Kiwoom Heroes

Nightengale also expects the New York Mets and the New York Yankees to be in the mix. However, it is possible that the Yankees are no longer pursuing the outfielder after acquiring Alex Verdugo and Juan Soto during the Winter Meetings.

The Giants have been scouting the KBO star for quite some team and were expected to be connected to him even before he was posted. Now that he is, Lee will have 30 days to sign a contract with a major league team. The Heroes will be owed a posting fee based on a percentage of the contract he signs.

The Giants have been looking for help up the middle this offseason and have sought a pure center fielder. At one point in the offseason, they were considered co-favorites for Cody Bellinger, but the former MVP has a steep asking price.

Lee is likely much more in line with the front office's risk tolerance. MLB Trade Rumors predicts that he will land a deal of five years and $50 million. This would keep the speedy outfielder under contract through his age-29 season. It is difficult for a team to get younger in free agency, but adding someone like Lee is one of those rare exceptions.

The left-handed bat had a strong 2023 campaign in the KBO, slashing .318/.406/.455 with six home runs, 45 RBI, and 50 runs in 387 plate appearances. This includes a 12.7 percent walk rate, 5.9 percent strikeout rate, and a .136 ISO.

Lee missed the second half of the season after undergoing surgery to repair a fractured ankle. He is expected to be ready by spring training. The Giants posted a 24.5 percent strikeout rate in 2023, which was the sixth-highest mark in baseball. Lee's contact-heavy swing would be a welcomed addition to a lineup that struck out a little too much last year.

In the field, the 25-year-old is known for having an excellent glove as he has been recognized with five Gold Glove awards in the KBO. He has above-average speed and a strong arm. It is likely that Lee sticks in center field, but could be an excellent corner outfielder as well.

The Giants' outfield defense has been abysmal in recent seasons. Plus, they have been one of the slowest teams in baseball. Lee would check off several boxes, but it is a matter of winning the negotiating process at this point. They will be competing with several teams for his services.