Ji-Man Choi was acquired last off-season from the Tampa Bay Rays for minor league reliever Jack Hartman. Choi’s tenure with the Pirates was pretty short-lived, as he only played for the Pirates in 2023 and missed a good portion of the season.
Choi missed most of April and all of May and June. He came back in July and was fairly productive leading up to the trade. He only came to the plate 44 times but had 11 hits, including four homers and three doubles. The Pirates packaged Choi with another veteran we’ll discuss later today to the San Diego Padres.
But Choi missed just over a whole month after the trade, landing on the IL after August 11th and playing his next game on September 16th. While Choi drew the same amount of walks as strikeouts, with eight each, he only had two hits. Both came in one game. This was in a total of 41 plate appearances. Choi played 16 games for the Padres and went hitless in 15 of them. He started out his Padres tenure with an 0-24 streak.
Choi was a fan favorite, but he was a rental, and it’s clear the Pirates will probably end up getting the better end of this deal. While he may not have played much in Pittsburgh, the Pirates at least were able to get something before Choi went on to have just two more hits over two months and missing a good chunk of August and September.