What will happen to Choi Ji-man (32), who obtained his first free agent qualification? While there has not been any predictions about Choi Ji-man’s future in the U.S. yet, predictions about Choi Ji-man’s future in the Japanese archipelago have attracted attention.
On the 18th, Japan’s Full Count posted an article titled “Will Ji-Man Choi play on the Japanese stage next season? He is hoping to enter the Japanese stage.”
Choi Ji-man has had his worst year since his big league debut this year. Choi Ji-man, who played as the starting first baseman for the Tampa Bay Rays until last season, changed his uniform ahead of this season. He moved to the Pittsburgh Pirates through a trade.
He did not play many games with his new team. He was limited to only 23 appearances through August due to a left Achilles tendon injury. Then, he was traded again from Pittsburgh to the San Diego Padres at the trade deadline. With this, Ji-Man Choi became the 6th team to join, following the LA Angels, New York Yankees, Milwaukee Brewers, Tampa Bay Rays, and Pittsburgh.
His actual performance was almost non-existent. He cried again because of his injuries. This time his left ribs were injured. In 16 games after moving to San Diego, his batting average was only 0.065.
Choi Ji-man’s performance this season was not good, with a batting average of 0.163, 6 home runs, 13 RBI, and an OPS of 0.624 in 39 games.
Moreover, after the end of the season, Ji-Man Choi acquires free agency status. This is the first free agent after entering the major league. But the timing was very bad. While there are players who are showing great success ahead of free agency, Ji-Man Choi has hit rock bottom.
Therefore, in the United States, there are no articles predicting that the team wants only Choi Ji-man or that the team would be good if Choi Ji-man goes.
Choi Ji-man’s annual salary this year was $4.65 million (about 6.3 billion won). Parting ways with San Diego, which is trying to reduce the price by predicting a significant salary cut, is becoming a certainty.
Instead, news came from Japan. The media pointed out, “Ji-Man Choi has shown his power by hitting 67 home runs and double-digit home runs four times in his eight years in the major league.”안전놀이터
It seems like Choi Ji-man playing on the Japanese stage is not bad either. He said, “I want to play in Japan sometime in the future. I have received several offers before. If I receive another offer, I will consider it. As a baseball player, it is great to play in different countries.”
He also revealed his love for Japan. Choi Ji-man also recalled, “I went to Osaka, Japan last year, and the takoyaki and beer were delicious. He ate takoyaki at the restaurant every morning.”
The media expressed expectations, saying, “He is not old yet. Will Choi Ji-man, who has shown his affection for Japan, be able to achieve the Japan dream?”