‘Choi Ji-man, former platoon colleague’, 3-year contract extension of 29.6 billion won, TB internal crackdown strengthened

 The Tampa Bay Rays are continuing their low-cost long-term contract.

According to MLB.com’s report on the 29th (Korean time), the Tampa Bay team signed an extension contract with infielder Yandi Diaz for 3 years and $24 million (approximately 29.6 billion won). The contract is guaranteed from next year to 2025, and it is known that a club option is set for 2026.

Originally, Diaz, who will qualify for free agency after completing the 2024 season, will be with Tampa Bay for three years by tying two years of salary adjustment qualification and one year of free agency with this contract.

Tampa Bay is concentrating on mid- to long-term power by signing long-term contracts with key members of the major leagues who are less than 6 years old this offseason. Tampa Bay, which previously signed a four-year, $31 million contract with starter Jeffrey Springs on the 26th, agreed to a three-year, $12 million contract with left-handed bullpen Jeffrey Fairbanks on the 28th. The two players also have club options and incentive provisions set.

As a result, Tampa Bay reduced the number of players who had to go through the salary adjustment process this offseason from 7 to 4. For four people, including Harold Ramirez, Collie Poche, Ryan Thompson, and Jason Adam, a hearing by the arbitration committee to adjust the annual salary will be held from next week. However, it is reported that the Tampa Bay club is also negotiating long-term contracts with them. 메이저놀이터

Diaz hit a career high last year. Marking a batting average of 0.296 (140 hits in 473 at-bats), an on-base percentage of 0.401, a slugging percentage of 0.423, and an OPS of 0.824, he posted 9 home runs, 57 RBIs, 78 walks, OPS+ of 143, and a WAR of 3.5. He set career highs in batting average and OPS.

Diaz, who is right-handed, has been famous among domestic fans for having played as a platoon with Choi Ji-man as a first baseman. His main position is 3rd baseman, but if the opponent is a left-handed starter, he sometimes starts as 1st baseman instead of Choi Ji-man. Choi Ji-man was traded to the Pittsburgh Pirates in November last year.

Diaz only played 9 at-bats due to a shoulder injury during the last two weeks of last year’s season, but was considered the most healthy and consistent fielder on the team before that. Tampa Bay’s main hitters, including Wander Franco, Brandon Law, Manual Margot, Mike Zunino, and Kevin Kiermeyer, suffered frequent injuries last season.

This season, Diaz should play a key role in the top lineup alongside Franco, Law, and Randy Arozarena.

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