As you may recall, a report in the Korea Times earlier this week quoted Shin-Soo Choo as saying that he wanted to be “transferred” to a winning team.
The report was immediately downplayed by Indians GM Chris Antonetti and later debunked by another reporter Jeeho Yoo, who said that Choo was misquoted in the piece. Now, Yoon Chul, who wrote the piece for the Korea Times, has come clean.
According to Paul Hoynes of the Cleveland Plain Dealer, Chul wrote the Indians and said editing problems, which omitted information, caused the confusion. Chul also said that Choo had “no idea” about the author’s use of the word “transfer” in the piece. In other words, he and/or the Korea Times made the whole thing up.
Way to kick Cleveland when they are down, guys.
This offseason will still be interesting as far as Choo is concerned. Arbitration-eligible for the first time this winter, the 28-year-old outfielder is now represented by Scott Boras. Choo is also playing for South Korea at the Asian Games. If his team wins the gold medal, the government may grant him an exemption from his two years of required military service.
Joe Longo, the agent of Marlins outfielder Christian Yelich, said his client’s relationship with the Marlins is “irretrievably broken,” ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick reports. He believes in the best interest of both Yelich and the Marlins to work out a trade before the start of spring training.
They have a plan. I respect that plan, but that plan shouldn’t include Christian at this point in his career. He’s in the middle of the best years of his career, and having him be part of a 100-loss season is not really where [we] want to see him going.
The relationship between player and team is irretrievably broken. It’s soured. He’s part of the old ownership regime. The new ownership regime needs to get new parts into this plan and move forward, and he needs to get on with his career where he’s got a chance to win. The big issue is him winning and winning now.
He loves the city of Miami. He loves the fans. He’s had nothing but a good experience in South Florida, and he feels sorry where they ended up. But I think having him report [to spring training] and attempting to include him moving forward is going to be uncomfortable for both sides. I don’t see how it’s going to work.
This certainly comes as no surprise considering the offseason the Marlins have had after installing new ownership, going from Jeffrey Loria to Bruce Sherman and Derek Jeter. The club traded All-Star outfielder Giancarlo Stanton, who hit 59 home runs last season, as well as Dee Gordon and Marcell Ozuna. As Crasnick notes, Yelich isn’t the only player to express disappointment with the Marlins’ current direction — J.T. Realmuto and Starlin Castro have as well.
Yelich, 26, signed a seven-year, $49.57 million contract extension with the Marlins in March of 2015. Given his career performance, that’s a bargain of a contract, which is why more than a handful of teams have inquired with the Marlins about him this offseason. Yelich finished the past season with a .282/.369/.439 triple-slash line along with 18 home runs, 81 RBI, 100 runs scored, and 16 stolen bases in 695 plate appearances.