Pirates Acquire Ji-Man Choi From Rays
The 2022 MLB offseason is already off to a blazing start. It feels like only yesterday the Astros won the World Series. Teams are already retooling for the 2023 MLB Season and our first big trade finally came across the news desk. Rays first basemen Ji-Man Choi has been traded to the Pirates.
The news first was reported by the Pirates team account:
Jack Hartman will head to Tampa Bay in return for the services of Choi. Hartman was drafted in 2020 so he does not have to be placed on the 40-man roster yet. That right there is very important to Tampa right now. They have a packed 40-man roster and just had to outright Nick Anderson from the team.
Choi, 31, spent the last five years with the Rays. Of course, Choi is now starting to become more expensive so Tampa decided now was the time to move on. Choi produced a batting line of .233/.341/.388 with 11 home runs and 52 RBIs over 419 plate appearances this past season. However, the new Pirates’ first basemen is projected to earn $4.5 million next year, according to MLB Trade Rumors. That’s a price tag the Rays likely felt uncomfortable with and may have even DFA’d Choi if they were desperate to clear that money from the books.
The Pirates got god awful first base production last season so you can’t blame them for pulling the trigger on this trade. Pittsburgh first basemen combined to post a 59 wRC+ and a minus-3.0 WAR for the Pirates a year ago. Both of those marks were by far the worst of all 30 teams.