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Despite a troubled 2011 season, Choo lands $4.9 million deal

Korean slugger Choo Shin-soo, despite his 2011 struggles, has received a $1 million raise from the Cleveland Indians for the upcoming season.

Choo and the Major League Baseball club agreed Tuesday to a one-year, $4.9 million deal to avoid salary arbitration, the Indians announced.

The Korean outfielder made $3.97 million last season, when he batted .259 with just eight homers and 36 RBIs, the fewest since becoming a full-time player in 2008.

Choo, who made his Major League debut in 2005 under the Seattle Mariners, moved to Cleveland in 2006 and became a regular for the Indians in 2008. 
Choo Shin-soo batted .259 with eight homers and 36 RBIs in 85 games last season. (File photo)
Choo Shin-soo batted .259 with eight homers and 36 RBIs in 85 games last season. (File photo)

He had his best season in 2010, batting .300 with 22 home runs and 90 RBIs, which earned him the $3.9 million salary with the Indians at the end of the season, an enormous raise from his previous $461,000 salary.

But last year, Choo managed to play only 85 games due to a series of injuries. He was also arrested in May for driving under the influence of alcohol.

Despite his troubles, Choo’s agent Scott Boras had been negotiating with the Indians for a raise and filed last week for salary arbitration for a second consecutive year.

But with the signing on Tuesday, Choo avoided going to an arbitration court.

Choo admitted that he had not expect to get a raise of $1 million.

“I had a poor season last year, so I didn’t expect much, but my agent had a different opinion,” he said.

The Indians outfielder added that he is determined to bounce back from his 2011 disappointments.

Choo, after a two-month break in Korea, recently started his off-season training at his home in Arizona.

“The contract is done. So now I can focus solely on getting my form back before the new season starts,” he said.

By Oh Kyu-wook (