The Pirates won their arbitration hearing against first baseman Ji-Man Choi, reports Jason Mackey of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Twitter link). He’ll earn the $4.65MM salary submitted by the team, as opposed to the $5.4MM salary his camp submitted on exchange day last month.
Acquired in a November trade that sent minor league pitcher Jack Hartman back to the Rays, Choi is heading into his final season of control before he’ll reach the free-agent market. The 31-year-old turned in a .233/.341/.488 batting line with Tampa Bay in 2022, swatting 11 home runs and 22 doubles while operating primarily as a platoon bat at first base and designated hitter. That’s a role with which Choi is familiar; just 16% of his career plate appearances have come against lefties (278 of 1724), and he’s a lifetime .203/.288/.301 hitter against them. Conversely, he’s hit righties at a .247/.356/.454 pace in 1446 plate appearances.
With the Pirates, Choi will pair with fellow offseason acquisition Carlos Santana to split time between first base and designated hitter. He’ll add some thump to a Pirates lineup that mustered only a .224/.296/.362 batting line against righties in 2022 — resulting in an ugly 86 wRC+ that ranked 26th among all MLB clubs.
Choi underwent elbow surgery shortly after the trade, but the Pirates were aware of the injury and confident that he’d be ready to go for spring training. By all accounts, that’s still the expectation. Mackey notes that Choi arrived at Pirates camp this morning but has yet to speak with the media.
With Choi’s salary now set, the Pirates’ payroll is finalized, barring any late additions via the free-agent or trade markets (or any possible extensions this spring). As it stands, they’ll head into the year with just north of $75MM committed to their roster. Small as that number may be, it represents a leap of nearly $20MM over last year’s Opening Day mark of $55.7MM, which ranked 28th among baseball’s 30 teams.
deGrom Texas Ranger
How did this fool think he had a chance? Good riddance!
You are the fool
Goku the All Knowing
not a bad platoon
I like some of cheringtons moves this offseaon
I think he might be a little salty between the Pirates not letting him play in the WBC and this ruling.
given that he is just coming off the injury, i don’t find that surprising at all. I don’t think the pirates are keen to letting players do WBC anyway but i don’t recall for certain.
I agree. He shouldn’t be salty but I was surprised by his public comments after the WBC thing.
He can’t afford to be salty. He’s not very good.
He can afford it. $4.65M will buy you a lot of salty.
You don’t know ball.
You sure do. Thanks for being here to help us all out.
Easy win for the Bucs, the arbitration officials looked at Choi’s lack of production with the Pirates and ruled instantly. Not a single hit for Pittsburgh in 2022, the team pointed out.
Choi’s reps countered that he didn’t strike out once or make a single error in the field for them, but to no avail.
At least the Pirates won something this year.
Very good….and very true, that’ll just about wrap it up 2023.
I guess this will end those extension talks.
He was probably asking for a 20 buck raise and the Pirates said they’d have to file bankruptcy. I don’t believe those figures in the article. Big lies. He wanted Dollars and the Pirates offered Pesos.
Those are the figures released by MLB. They be real, matey!
Reading the article is hard
Reading in General
Hey he didn’t lose anything. Why not try to get more money?
Arbitration. Both figures are above what the player was making in the past, so the players always win, just whether they win or win bigger.
thats it fort pitt
With the acquisitions of Santana, Joe, and Cutch, I don’t see him getting a lot of playing time unless someone gets hurt. However, he will help defense and OBP until they trade or cut him.
Given that Choi bats lefty and is part of two platoons at both 1B and DH, he should be in the lineup against RHP at one of those two positions, which is roughly 70 percent of the time. He’ll get his playing time. When a LHP is on the hill, Santana and McCutchen will be in the lineup. Those two guys will also see some action against RHP.
Recently a Pirates rep called trying to sell me season tickets; needless to say, that sales job has to be in the rings of hell somewhere.
For Pete’s sake Steve, WRITE IN PROPER ENGLISH!
It’s not “small as that number may be,” it’s “AS small as that number may be.” Grammar is not optional.