Ji-Man Choi Shared A Heartfelt Message To Rays Fans
The Tampa Bay Rays surprisingly traded one of their fan favorites, first baseman Ji-Man Choi, to the Pittsburgh Pirates.
If you are familiar with the Rays’ ways to do business, perhaps it’s not that shocking, but fans loved Choi dearly and the player wanted to retire in Tampa.
Since he was due for a significant raise via salary arbitration, to the $5 million range, the Rays sent him packing and got a cheap, cost-controlled right-handed pitcher in return.
It was a typical Rays trade, to put it in a better way.
Choi, a classy man, went to his social media channels and thanked Rays fans for everything they went through together in his Tampa tenure, one that started in 2018.
Rays insider Mark Topkin wrote on Twitter: “#Rays Choi said an IG post it was a surprise to be traded and thanked #Rays fans for their support,” with a picture of Choi’s Instagram post.
#Rays Choi said an IG post it was a surprise to be traded and thanked #Rays fans for their support pic.twitter.com/SMOa20PyNY
— Marc Topkin (@TBTimes_Rays) November 11, 2022
Choi Loved the Rays
The player said things such as he wanted to retire with a Tampa uniform.
“Without you, baseball is nothing, and I wouldn’t be here today,” he wrote.
It sure sounds like he really enjoyed playing for Tampa Bay.
After all, it was the team that trusted in him when he didn’t have a spot on the New York Yankees.
In 1,724 plate appearances, Choi has hit .239/.345/.429 with 61 home runs and a 116 wRC+, which means he has produced 16 percent more than the league-average hitter.
That’s a fine mark.
He will get all the playing time he can handle against right-handed pitchers in Pittsburgh, and also a spot in the middle of the Pirates lineup.
The drop-off between the Rays and the Pirates, however, is significant, as the latter aren’t expected to compete.