|Choi agreed to a US$3.2 million deal Tuesday (U.S. time), avoiding salary arbitration for the second straight offseason. (Photo from Tampa Bays)|
[Asia News = Reporter Reakkana] SEOUL: South Korean big league first baseman Choi Ji-man has signed a new one-year contract to stay with the Tampa Bay Rays. MLB website reported that Choi agreed to a US$3.2 million deal Tuesday (U.S. time), avoiding salary arbitration for the second straight offseason. Choi, not yet eligible for free agency, earned $2.45 million in 2021 after winning his first arbitration case.
Choi, 30, made his major league debut with the Los Angeles Angels in 2016. He bounced around for a bit before thriving as a full-time big leaguer with the Rays, whom he joined in a midseason trade from the Milwaukee Brewers in 2018. Choi had an injury-plagued 2021 season, playing only 83 out of 162 games while missing time with knee, groin, and hamstring injuries. Choi batted .229/.348/.411 with 11 home runs and 45 RBIs.
The Rays won the American League East division title at 100-62, also the best record in the league. In the postseason, though, they got knocked out of the American League Division Series by the Boston Red Sox in four games. Choi batted 2-for-7 with a home run in three postseason games.