The Angels announced that first baseman Ji-Man Choi has rejected an outright assignment in favor free agency. The 25-year-old was designated for assignment back in late December when the Halos signed Ben Revere to a one-year deal.
Choi, who will turn 26 in May, was a Rule 5 pick out of the Orioles organization in 2015 (although he’d signed a minors deal in Baltimore just prior to being selected). The Angels designated him for assignment last May and retained him by outrighting him to Triple-A. Choi eventually made his way back to the big league roster but struggled in his first exposure to Major League pitching, hitting just .170/.271/.339 with five homers in 129 plate appearances.
While those numbers are unsightly, Choi did walk at a solid 12.4 percent clip in the Majors against a not-unreasonable 20.9 percent strikeout rate and a solid .170 isolated power mark. He also comes with a nice track record in Triple-A, where he’s slashed .304/.399/.446 with 13 homers in 627 plate appearances. Certainly, he’s not entering any sort of favorable market for first basemen and corner outfielders (he does have 349 minor league innings in left field as well), but his respectable minor league track record and somewhat encouraging K/BB numbers in the Majors should allow him to latch on elsewhere as a depth option.