Interview with ‘10.7 billion KT lifetime man’ Ko Young-pyo

“I’m going for the golden gloves, the permanent tie.”

He became the “10.7 billion won man. You’d think he’d be satisfied with such a huge contract, but he went straight to the gym after signing, because he knew it wasn’t the end.

KT Wiz ‘Submarine Ace’ Ko Young-pyo has laid the groundwork for becoming a ‘lifelong KT man’. Ko Young-pyo signed a five-year, $10.7 billion non-free agent contract with KT on Friday. It is the first multi-year contract since KT’s founding and the first contract worth more than 10 billion won, including free agency. KT recognized the value of the ace, and he signed the contract without hesitation.

In fact, from his point of view, it must have been a dilemma. One more season and he would be a free agent for the first time in his life. Given his performance and momentum in the last three years, the possibility of a “super break” was very high. With almost no clear-cut starters in the free agent market, if he were to hit the market, he could have gotten a contract worth well over 10 billion won for four years instead of five. As a player, it would have been tempting to get a market evaluation.

But KT was sincere. They locked up their franchise star for the highest amount of money in their history. After signing, Ko Young-pyo told Sports Chosun, “The contract is handled by an agent, and I was just working out hard, but KT made me an offer. They treated me so well, I couldn’t think of anything else but to stay in Suwon and play baseball.”

“The truth is, it’s not easy for a player to become a free agent. It takes seven or eight years of injury-free play to become a free agent. But KT gave me a good offer so I didn’t have to worry about my free agency status. I didn’t know what variables there would be, but they took care of them. I couldn’t think of going to another team,” he explained.

KT wanted to make him a “KT man for life” through this contract, and hoped that he would become a permanent member of the team. Go Young-pyo responded. He said, “I have a great desire to be recognized as a player regardless of money. I want to win a Golden Glove for five years, and it would be a great honor if I could be a permanent player. I’m very grateful to Nadahyun for saying that. I also have this goal, and I will do my best to sign with KT again in five years so that I can play baseball for a long time. My heart is definitely ‘KT for life’,” he laughed.

Go Young-pyo is overjoyed that his family is so excited about his huge contract. After the signing, he went to the gym. He said, “My workout schedule has been a little off lately due to contract issues. Today, I’m on my way to the gym with the determination to fulfill the set schedule.” There is a controversy about the ‘betting’ of multi-year contracts, but Ko Young-pyo showed his will to submerge his worries with his body.