As Choi Ji-man failed to reach an annual salary agreement with his new team, the Pittsburgh Pirates, the possibility of going to the annual salary adjustment committee increased.
The difference between Choi Ji-man’s demand and Pittsburgh’s offer is $750,000 (approximately 900 million won). New York Post John Heyman and MLB.com Mark Fiinsand reported that Choi Man-man asked for 5.4 million dollars (approximately 6.8 billion won), and Pittsburgh offered 4.65 million dollars (approximately 5.8 billion won). MLB Trey Rumors (MLBTR), which deals with transfers of major league players, predicted that Choi Ji-man, who received $3.2 million last year, will earn $4.5 million this year.
Except for Choi Ji-man, all Pittsburgh affiliates subject to annual salary adjustments succeeded in reaching an agreement. JT Brubaker signed for $2,275,000, Mitch Keller for $2,437,500, Duane Underwood Jr. for $1,002,500, and Robert Stevenson for $1.75 million. The Pittsburgh Post Gazette, a local newspaper in Pittsburgh, reported that the three players except Stevenson received slightly more than expected salaries from the MLBTR.
If Choi Ji-man and Pittsburgh fail to reach an agreement at the last minute, they will have to leave the decision to the Salary Adjustment Committee, which will operate from the 30th.
In 2021, when Choi Ji-man belonged to the Tampa Bay Race, he also went through the Salary Adjustment Committee. At the time, the annual salary adjustment committee sided with Choi Ji-man, who demanded an annual salary of $2.45 million. The Tampa Bay side’s offer was $1.85 million. In 2020, the previous season, he had a batting average of .230 OPS 0.741 and 3 home runs, but in 2019, the previous year, he had a batting average of 0261 OPS .822 and 19 home runs, and recorded career high results.
Last season, Choi Ji-man had a batting average of 0.233 OPS and 0.729 with 11 home runs. The Pittsburgh Post Gazette reported that Choi Ji-man still recorded a respectable on-base percentage (0.341) last season, and that the defensive shift, which had worked against left-handed hitters like Choi, will be banned from this year. He says that he can expect a performance improvement.