South Korean first baseman Choi Ji-man has been designated for assignment by the New York Yankees, with a demotion to the minors or free agency now a possibility.
The Yankees made the move Wednesday (local time) after acquiring three players in a trade with the Chicago White Sox in exchange for four players.
One of the new faces is Todd Frazier, a veteran slugger who can play both third base and first base, where Choi has played six games this year. The Yankees have removed Choi from the 40-man roster to clear space for Frazier and other new faces.
Choi, who made his major league debut with the Los Angeles Angels last season, must now wait and see if any other team claims him off waivers over the next seven days. If he clears waivers -- meaning, if no club picks him up -- Choi may then be sent outright to the Yankees' minor league affiliates or released.
|In this Associated Press file photo taken on July 7, 2017, Choi Ji-man of the New York Yankees watches his two-run home run against the Milwaukee Brewers at Yankee Stadium in New York. (Yonhap)|
Choi, 26, batted .267 (4-for-15) with two homers and five RBIs in six games in pinstripes. He homered in each of his first two games after getting called up late last month.
The Yankees have gone through 11 first basemen this season without much success. The Yankees are last among 15 teams in the American League with a .205 batting average and 40 RBIs from their first basemen.
Players with more than three years of service in the majors or those who have been outrighted previously may reject the assignment to the minors and declare free agency.
Choi was designated for assignment by the Angels in May last year and was outrighted to their Triple-A team. When the Angels designated him for assignment again in December, Choi rejected the assignment in favor of free agency, which allowed him to sign a minor league deal with the Yankees. (Yonhap)