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Choi Hee-seop Re-signs With Dodgers

Posted December. 22, 2005 03:02,   


“Big Choi,” Choi Hee-seop (26) will stay with Los Angeles Dodgers, at least for now.

Major League Baseball announced on December 21 that Dodgers re-signed the 26-year-old first baseman to a one-year contract for an annual salary of $725,000.

That is more than double his salary of $351,500 this year and is the third-highest amount given to a Korean big leaguer, below Park Chan-ho’s five-year San Diego contract worth 65 million and Kim Byung-hyun’s six-million-dollar salary this year.

It was thought that Choi might leave the Dodgers as a non-tender (a player not offered a contract renewal by his team) player. Although now his stay has been decided with a pay raise, Choi is likely to be trapped in a platoon with right-handed batter Olmedo Saenz and the newly-signed Normar Garciaparra, whom the Dodgers are paying six million a year to play first base.

Choi is likely to end up as a backup first baseman and a lefty pinch-hitter. On the other hand, there is a chance that the Dodgers may be keeping Choi as a trade asset.

Sung-Kyu Kim kimsk@donga.com