Jung Hoo Lee

Giants sign outfielder Lee to six-year, $113 million contract

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The Giants made their first splash of the MLB offseason.

The New York Post's Jon Heyman first reported Tuesday that Korean outfielder Jung Hoo Lee has agreed to a six-year, $113 million free-agent contract with an opt-out after the fourth year. The Giants made the move official on Thursday.

Per the Giants, Lee will earn $7 million in 2024, $16 million in 2025, $22 million in 2026 and 2027 and $20.5 million in 2028 and 2029.

As The Athletic's Andrew Baggarly pointed out, Lee's $113 million contract does not include a roughly $19 million posting fee San Francisco will pay Lee's former team, the Kiwoom Heroes. Lee officially was posted on Dec. 4, opening his 30-day window to sign with an MLB team.

The 25-year-old center fielder won the KBO MVP award in 2022 with the Kiwoom Heroes after batting .349/.421/.575 with 23 home runs, 113 RBI and a .996 OPS. Lee hit .318/.406/.455 with six homers and 45 RBI in 86 games in 2023 before an ankle injury ended his season in July.

Lee, nicknamed the "Grandson of the Wind," is a former shortstop who transitioned to center field in 2017 and has won five consecutive Gold Glove awards. He's the son of Jong Beom Lee, a legendary shortstop who played 20 combined seasons in the KBO and NPB in Japan.

The 25-year-old is an elite defender and has exceptional bat-to-ball skills. Lee struck out just 32 times in 553 at-bats in 2022 and could help solve a major issue for the Giants at the plate. The level of play in the KBO is believed to be the equivalent of somewhere between Double- and Triple-A stateside, with the average fastball velocity around 88 mph compared to 93 in MLB, which means there could be an initial adjustment period for the young lefty.

Lee was one of the Giants' top targets this offseason and was scouted by the organization multiple times leading up to his season-ending injury. He figures to be the Giants' everyday center fielder and could be a top-of-the-order staple for years to come.

The Giants will introduce Lee in a press conference on Friday at 1:00 p.m. at Oracle Park.

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