Shin-Soo Choo will likely be exempt from military service since he helped South Korea beat Taiwan for gold at the Asian games yesterday, according to MLB.com's Jordan Bastian (on Twitter). As Bastian explained yesterday, able-bodied South Korean men must spend two years in the military by the end of their 30th year. There's a way out, though; athletes receive an exemption if they win gold at the Asian games.
The 28-year-old Scott Boras client would have lost some prime seasons if he had been required to serve. Choo has been remarkably consistent for the past two campaigns, following up a .300/.394/.489 line with a .300/.401/.484 line. His well-balanced play makes him an offseason extension candidate.