Choi Ji-man Joins New York Mets with One-Year Split Contract

SEOUL — South Korean infielder Choi Ji-man has officially signed with the New York Mets, according to an announcement from his agency, G-Man Sports Management, on Saturday. The agreement introduces Choi to his potential seventh Major League Baseball (MLB) team, under a one-year split contract that could be worth up to US$3.5 million, including performance-based bonuses, contingent upon his inclusion in the Opening Day roster. Additionally, Choi received an invitation to spring training.

According to Yonhap News Agency, A split contract stipulates varying salaries for a player depending on the duration spent in the major leagues compared to the minor leagues. This contract structure reflects the Mets' approach to managing player performance and roster flexibility.

Choi, 32, spent the 2023 season playing for both the Pittsburgh Pirates and the San Diego Padres, but his participation was curtailed to just 39 games due to injuries. During this limited playtime, he managed a batting average of .163, hitting six home runs and driving in 13 runs.

Over the course of his career, Choi has achieved a batting line of .234/.338/.426, with a total of 67 home runs and 238 RBIs across 525 games. The agency highlighted that aside from the Mets, Choi attracted interest from five other MLB teams — the Padres, Washington Nationals, Chicago White Sox, Texas Rangers, and Toronto Blue Jays. Additionally, three Japanese baseball clubs extended offers to Choi, who ultimately opted to continue his career in the MLB.

The announcement further mentioned that Choi had been training in Arizona prior to traveling to Florida on Thursday (U.S. time) to complete a physical examination, subsequently finalizing his contract with the Mets on Friday.

The New York Mets have scheduled their first full workout for Monday, marking the commencement of the team's preparations for the upcoming season and potentially incorporating Choi into their roster plans.

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