Choi Ji-man, 2023 in ML life is → trade → release → preliminary FA → season of failure.
For Choi Ji-man (32, Pittsburgh Pirates), the 2023 season has a different meaning. After challenging the U.S. baseball in 2010, he entered the Major League and finally qualified for the FA. Annual salary negotiations have not yet been concluded this season, and $3.2 million was received in the 2022 season. The total amount of contracts and destinations in the 2023-2024 FA market are of keen interest.
Choi Ji-man left for LA on the 8th. He is determined to properly rehabilitate in a warm place after undergoing surgery to remove bone fragments from his elbow last fall. Pittsburgh will decide whether to allow Choi Ji-man to participate in the WBC after checking his arm condition. It is natural to make every effort to manage health ahead of FA, which is just a year away.
Choi Ji-man said, “It’s important every season, but I don’t think it’s the FA season,” but added, “I’ll try to produce good results without thinking about FA.” First of all, he intends to adapt quickly in Pittsburgh. Even during the Tampa Bay Rays, he showed good chemistry with his colleagues with his unique affinity.
Pittsburgh is a rebuilding team. There are many young and promising players with little full-time experience. Choi Ji-man is expected to be classified as a senior as soon as he wears the Pittsburgh uniform. He said, “I’m going to a new team. You need to get acquainted with the new mates. “In particular, I have to approach young players first,” he said.
Choi Ji-man started as a minor leaguer with the Seattle Mariners in 2010. He then moved to the Baltimore Orioles for a while and then to the Los Angeles Angels in the Rule 5 draft. In the end, he made his big league debut with the Angels. However, he was released immediately in 2017 and moved to the New York Yankees. Afterwards, he went through the Milwaukee Brewers and wore a Tampa Bay Race uniform during 2018.
He became the main first baseman in Tampa Bay. Before coming to the team, he was in five teams, but he played for five years for trade and rebuilding teams. In the end, he was traded to Pittsburgh after the 2022 season. He moved his team to the preliminary FA season, and he is likely to leave Pittsburgh in a year.
WBC is also important, but what is more important in reality is the 2023 season performance to spend in Pittsburgh. In fact, even after establishing himself as the main first baseman, Choi Ji-man rarely feels like he played as a full-time first baseman. This is because it was completely subjected to platooning.
Last year, there was a feeling that he was operating too rigid on the bench even though he was not weak at all to left-handed pitchers. However, it is also true that Choi Ji-man did not clearly show that he was not a platoon dragon. It was also true that he ran with elbow pain and lost his productivity. 안전공원
After all, the theme of 2023 is health and breaking away from platoon. This season’s productivity will have a decisive impact on the FA contract. Although he is already ahead of the 32-year-old season, he has a good chance of winning a decent contract if he shows his competitiveness clearly.