SPORTS

Korean first baseman outrighted to minors by Yankees

By Alex Park
  • Published : Jul 24, 2017 - 09:53
  • Updated : Jul 24, 2017 - 09:53

South Korean first baseman Choi Ji-man has been outrighted to the minor leagues by the New York Yankees.

The Yankees announced the transaction on Sunday (local time) after designating the struggling player for assignment last Wednesday.

That left a demotion to the minors or free agency a possibility. Choi cleared waivers -- meaning, no club picked him up after he was designated for assignment -- and accepted a move back to the minors rather than opting for free agency.

The Yankees removed Choi from their 40-man roster to clear space for some new faces acquired in recent trades.

Choi, 26, made his major league debut with the Los Angeles Angels last season, and joined the Yankees on a minor league deal via free agency before this season.

He batted .267 (4-for-15) with two homers and five RBIs in six games in pinstripes. Choi homered in each of his first two games after getting called up late last month.

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.

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 .212 batting average and 40 RBIs from their first basemen. (Yonhap)

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)