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Choi Ji-man to stay with Rays on new one-year deal

10:04 December 01, 2021

By Yoo Jee-ho

SEOUL, Dec. 1 (Yonhap) -- South Korean big league first baseman Choi Ji-man has signed a new one-year contract to stay with the Tampa Bay Rays.

MLB.com 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.

In this Getty Images file photo from Oct. 8, 2021, Choi Ji-man of the Tampa Bay Rays hits a solo home run against the Boston Red Sox in the bottom of the sixth inning of Game 2 of the American League Division Series at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Florida. (Yonhap)

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.

In this Associated Press file photo from Oct. 11, 2021, Tampa Bay Rays first baseman Choi Ji-man (L) has a throw from third baseman Yandy Diaz go off his chest as Travis Shaw of the Boston Red Sox reaches on an infield single during the bottom of the ninth inning of Game 4 of the American League Division Series at Fenway Park in Boston. (Yonhap)


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