Pittsburgh Pirates Win Arbitration Case With Ji-Man Choi
On Friday, reports surfaced that the Pittsburgh Pirates have won their arbitration case with first baseman/designated hitter Ji-Man Choi
Early in the offseason the Pittsburgh Pirates traded minor league pitcher Jack Hartman to the Tampa Bay Rays in exchange for first baseman/designated hitter Ji-Man Choi. This should set Choi up to be one of the key cogs in the team's lineup for 2023.
When Choi was acquired by the Pittsburgh Pirates he was an arbitration eligible player. This meant that the salary number figures of his contract this season would be up in the air. Well, now we know what Choi's salary will be in 2023.
Prior to the two sides heading to their arbitration hearing Choi had filed for $5.4 million in November, while the Pirates offered Choi $4.65 million. The arbiter sided the with the Pirates and Choi will now make $4.65 million in 2023.
Prior to this, Choi had yet to appear in Bradenton for spring training. Well, this changed on Friday as Choi was spotted at Pirate City for the first time. However, he still has yet to speak with the media since arriving in Bradenton.
Choi is coming off a season in which he hit .233/.341/.388 with a 116 wRC+ and an OPS+ of 114. In his MLB career, Choi has hit for a .239/.345/.429 slash line, with a 116 wRC+ and a 115 OPS+. Choi had a 13.8% walk rate last season and a career walk rate of 13.4%.
This season Choi will be looking to bounce back from offseason elbow surgery. Due to this surgery, the Pirates are holding Choi out of the World Baseball Classic. Ben Cherington has stated, however, that they anticipate Choi will be completely ready to go for Opening Day.
Looking ahead to the regular season Choi should be a key cog in the Pirate lineup, especially agaisnt right-handed pitching. He should be able to get on base at a high clip, while also being a potential run producer for the Bucs.