Free agent infielder Choi Ji-man signs with Mets

SEOUL, South Korean free agent infielder Choi Ji-man has found a new home with the New York Mets, his agency announced Saturday. G-Man Sports Management said Choi has signed a one-year split contract with the Mets worth up to US$3.5 million, including performance-based bonus, if Choi makes the Opening Day roster. He also had an invitation to spring training. Under a split contract, a player earns different amounts of money based on the time he spends in the majors and in the minors. If Choi makes the Mets' big league team, they will be his seventh club. The 32-year-old split the 2023 season between the Pittsburgh Pirates and the San Diego Padres, but was limited to only 39 games due to injuries. He batted only .163 with six homers and 13 RBIs in those games. For his career, Choi has a .234/.338/.426 line with 67 home runs and 238 RBIs in 525 games. According to the agency, Choi also drew interest from five other major league teams: the Padres, Washington Nationals, Chicago White Sox, Texas Rangers and Toronto Blue Jays. Three Japanese clubs made an offer for Choi, but the player decided he wanted to give the big leagues another shot. The company said Choi had been training in Arizona but traveled to Florida on Thursday (U.S. time) to undergo a physical and signed his contract the following day. The first full workout for the Mets is scheduled for Monday. Source: Yonhap News Agency