Milwaukee Brewers: How real is the interest in Ji-man Choi?

NEW YORK, NY - JULY 07: Ji-Man Choi
NEW YORK, NY - JULY 07: Ji-Man Choi /

Journeyman first baseman / outfielder Ji-man Choi has reportedly received 13 offers from Major League teams to play in 2018. The Milwaukee Brewers are supposedly among them. How much sense would Choi make for the Brew Crew?

Ji-man Choi has bounced around three different organizations in the last three years. Spending time shuttling between Triple-A and the Majors, Choi has yet to amass any meaningful playing time at the Big League level. He owns a .181/.279/.386 slash line in 147 plate appearances with the Angels and Yankees.

Doesn’t 13 offers seem high?

For a guy with 147 plate appearances at the Major League level? Yes. Ji-Man Choi has killed Triple-A pitching, but first base / left field jobs are hard to secure for a guy who wasn’t a top prospect. He’s an on-base machine who has never posted a walk rate lower than 10% at any Minor League level. Choi looks like a guy who could contribute as a bench bat or DH vs. right-handed pitching.

Why would the Milwaukee Brewers have interest in him?

Not sure. Eric Thames, Jesus Aguilar and Ryan Braun are ready to soak up the majority of at-bats at first base and left field. The only way Choi makes sense for the Milwaukee Brewers is if he starts the year in Colorado Springs. Interest in Choi could also indicate that GM David Stearns has found a suitor or two for Thames or Aguilar, but it’s more likely Stearns is just being thorough.

Is there any chance he ends up with the Milwaukee Brewers?

If he agrees to a Minor League deal with the understanding that he won’t get called up unless there’s an injury, yes. The chances are low, especially with 12 other teams sending him offers, but it’s not impossible for Choi to sign with the Milwaukee Brewers and head to Colorado Springs.

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Choi won’t turn 27 until after the 2018 season starts. He has shown a solid eye at the plate, and bats left-handed. He fits the profile of an intriguing bench bat, but is unlikely to find a role with the Milwaukee Brewers. If Eric Thames or Jesus Aguilar weren’t on the roster, Choi makes more sense. Until one of the two first basemen on the Brewers roster move on, Choi doesn’t fit with Milwaukee.