February 16, 2016 11:10
Slugger Lee Dae-ho has drastically slimed down as he has been preparing to play in a big league game in the U.S.
Early this month Lee signed a minor league contract with the Seattle Mariners in Major League Baseball, under which he will be invited to their spring training camp to compete for a spot on the team's big league roaster.
"I lost 10 kg. It is only natural for an athlete to get in to shape for the next season," Lee said. "There is nothing strange about that."
Lee is currently staying in Korea, after coming back on Feb. 5 following his agreement with the Mariners. The Chosun Ilbo met him at Gocheok Sky Dome, where he was shooting a commercial, in Seoul last Friday.
Lee has a "split contract" with the Mariners, which offers differing salary packages depending on if the signed player plays in an MLB game. His former team, the Fukuoka SoftBank Hawks in Japan's Nippon Professional Baseball, reportedly offered him over 5 billion Japanese yen per year, but Lee chose to pursue his dream in the U.S.
"All I want to do is compete against the world's best in the U.S.," Lee said. "Everyone is a minor leaguer wherever they are if they are not part of an MLB starting roster."
"I'm most grateful to my wife and I'm most sorry to my daughter," he said. "My wife has been my biggest supporter. If she had opposed me, it would have been tough to face new challenges in a foreign land, so I'm thankful to her for that."
"I'm not thinking about other possibilities. My only goal at the moment is to play in the MLB, and do everything I can to achieve that," Lee added.
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