Incheon International Airport, reporter Kim Min-kyung] “I’ve been preparing since I said I was applying for an annual salary adjustment.”
There are signs of a change in the final entry for the 2023 World Baseball Classic (WBC) national team. Ji-man Choi (32, Pittsburgh Pirates) The variable has not been resolved. Lee Kang-chul, head coach of the Korean national baseball team, explained that if Choi Ji-man joined as much as possible, it would help the team, but he also prepared a replacement player just in case. 안전놀이터
Director Lee explained, “I haven’t been able to get in touch with Choi Ji-man, so the KBO is checking. There is still time, so I think I’ll have to wait. I’ve been preparing since I said I’m applying for an annual salary adjustment.”
Choi Ji-man had a strong will to wear the Taegeuk mark for the first time in his life. Even after undergoing surgery to remove a bone fragment in his elbow in November of last year, he strongly requested that he “want to play” for the national team, and coach Lee and the technical committee secured at least one more major leaguer and put them in the final entry because there was nothing wrong with it.
In order to increase the odds of participating in the WBC from 99% to 100%, Choi Ji-man had to actively persuade his team Pittsburgh. Choi Ji-man was told that he needed about 12 weeks to recover after surgery. Even if his body fully recovers by mid-February, when he starts spring camp, it is difficult to guarantee that he will be able to display his full potential in actual combat. Since it is also the first season with Choi Ji-man and Pittsburgh, it is difficult to be sure whether the club will allow them to participate in the WBC unreasonably.
In the meantime, he is at odds with the club over the issue of salary. The US media announced on the 14th (Korean time) that ‘the salary negotiations between Choi Ji-man and Pittsburgh broke down’. Choi Ji-man wanted 5.4 million dollars, and Pittsburgh offered 4.65 million dollars. The 750,000-dollar gap could not be narrowed, and the salary adjustment committee had to wait for the decision.
In the aftermath of the injury, the difficulty of persuading the club to join the national team was already high, but the issue of salary adjustment overlapped. For coach Lee, the best preparation was to confirm and prepare the replacement player card in advance.
He plans to reinforce positions that can be more conducive to power, rather than limiting himself to first base, if this leads to the selection of substitute players. Manager Lee said, “There are many players who can play first base, including Kim Hyun-soo, Park Hae-min, and Choi Jeong. There is a possibility of additional positions being selected.” Even so, he did not let go of hope at all, saying, “(Choi) Ji-man joining is the priority.”
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