Cha Myung-seok and Lim Chan-gyu generally have different relationships between a general manager and a player. The leader openly disses the player, and the player frequently provokes the leader without malicious intent. That is how special they are. They left special impression on each other from their first meeting.
Lim Chan-gyu, who was nominated by LG in the first round (2nd overall) in the 2011 Rookie Draft, participated in the spring camp for the professional league as a rookie. At that time, LG went on a camping trip to Florida in the U.S. It is said that Cha Myung-seok, then a pitching coach, sat next to Lim on the plane. During the 13-hour flight, Lim had many conversations with Cha, asking various questions. Lim, who had been talking for a long time, said he was puzzled as to what kind of coach he was asking.
Since then, the pitching coach and the pitcher have become close friends, and they faced each other at the negotiating table as a general manager and an FA player last winter. Lim Chan-kyu, who played 65 games with nine wins, six losses, seven saves and an ERA of 4.46 as a rookie in 2011, has been sluggish for a while since suffering from injuries.
He started to see the spotlight as a starter by winning more than 10 games twice, in 2018 and 2020. However, he was sluggish with one win (eight losses) in 2021 and six wins (11 losses) in 2022, and chose to retake the FA.
Last year, he pitched 144 ⅔s in 30 games (26 starts) and recorded 14 wins, three losses and an earned run average of 3.42. He ranked third (14 wins) in multiple wins, and second in winning percentage (.824) in Korea. It was his career-high season.
Lim Chan-gyu applied for FA after the season and signed a four-year contract with LG for up to 5 billion won (down payment of 600 million won, annual salary of 2 billion won, option of 2.4 billion won). Looking at the details of the contract, it was an unusual contract with nearly 50 percent of the options.
Lim suggested increasing the number of options based on performance, instead of lowering the amount of money guaranteed during the negotiation process. Lim said it would be better to get the option in good health and good condition. “The player confidently said he would do well, so I trusted him,” said Cha Myung-seok, the team’s general manager.
At the time of the FA contract, Lim couldn’t speak properly because it was right after undergoing surgery for the vocal cord nodule. It is said that Lim wrote a handwritten letter of gratitude to Cha after the contract. “Chan-gyu gave me a letter, and I cried while reading it,” Cha said.
After signing the FA contract, Lim Chan-kyu said through his club, “I’m glad that Elin can continue to wear a striker uniform that I’m proud of as a native. I didn’t think about other clubs. I wanted to continue to be a player for the LG Twins, but I thank the club for signing a good contract. Thanks to the fans who always cheer for me with passion, I think I was able to achieve the best results of this season. I could feel the power of our fans once again, and I’ll prepare to bring good results next year and the year after so that they can always smile,” he said.
Afterwards, he expressed his affection for LG in more diverse ways through his YouTube channel. Lim Chan-kyu wrote, “The owner, the president, and the general manager for signing the contract on good terms. I want to thank Coach Yeom Kyung-yeop for always taking care of me, and I want to thank Coach Kim Yong-il for always being with me despite my lack of skills. I love you all the most, the fans of the Invincible LG Twins.”
When asked if he had any concerns during the FA negotiations, he said, “I had no worries. I asked my agent to do it with LG from start to finish.” He jokingly said, “My heart is burning. I will give all my body and soul until the day I retire.”
Lastly, when asked what LG Twins means to Lim Chan-kyu, he wrote, “Since we first came to the baseball stadium at age 6, we have loved each other for 26 years. I am so happy to love each other. I love you, Twins.” 토토사이트