Reporter Kim Joo-hee = With the submission date for the final list of the 2023 World Baseball Classic (WBC) approaching in five days, the ‘variable’ for Choi Ji-man (32, Pittsburgh Pirates) has not been resolved. The Korea Baseball Organization (KBO) is also considering several options.
Choi Ji-man was named on the 30-man roster for the WBC Korean baseball team announced on the 4th of last month. However, even after making the final entry, he is not sure of participating in the competition. This is because the club’s permission did not fall.
According to KBO officials, the position of the Pittsburgh team has not changed from “Please wait”.
Pittsburgh, which is worried about Choi Ji-man’s physical condition, cannot welcome his participation in the WBC.
Choi Ji-man, who underwent surgery to remove a bone fragment in his elbow last November, was confident that he would have no problem participating in the tournament that opens in March.
The club’s position may be different. There is no need to overdo it for clubs that need only the best performances in the regular season. Players with medical issues may be refused selection for the competition.
The KBO technical committee also considered various aspects and decided to put Choi Ji-man in the entry and wait for the club’s approval.
About a month has already passed since the announcement of the final entry.
Pittsburgh’s permission was still not given, and in the meantime Choi Ji-man started to apply for an annual salary adjustment. Choi Ji-man wants an annual salary of 5.4 million dollars (about 6.6 billion won) this year, and Pittsburgh is competing with it with 4.65 million dollars (about 5.7 billion won).
As time passes without anything confirmed, the national team has no choice but to prepare other alternatives.
A KBO official explained, “For now, you can submit the final entry as it is until the 8th. After that, if the Pittsburgh club says ‘(only Choi) can’t participate,’ the player can be replaced.”
However, at this time, the situation of the player who will belatedly join the national team must also be considered. In order to participate in the WBC, which starts about three weeks earlier than the regular season of the KBO League, you need to improve your condition more quickly.
Other options are under discussion. An official opened up the possibility that “he can be replaced with an alternate player before submitting the final entry.”
Previously, coach Lee Kang-cheol (KT Wiz) of the baseball team also said, “I thought that it would not be easy to see Choi Ji-man’s salary adjustment, so I talked to the staff. If something goes wrong, I have prepared how to select a substitute player.”
As for the position of a substitute player, the possibility was opened for positions other than first baseman Choi Man-man plays.
Of course, the best scenario is for Choi Ji-man to decide to join the national team quickly with the permission of the Pittsburgh club, as drafted by the KBO Technical Committee. 스포츠토토
After graduating from Dongsan High School in Incheon, Choi Ji-man moved to the United States and started challenging in the major leagues, but has no national team experience.
It remains to be seen whether he will be able to seize the opportunity to enjoy the first Taegeuk mark glory in his life.