Well, maybe freedom is not the right word — it’s the army he’s trying to avoid here, not a jail sentence — but he is on the cusp of being able to take advantage of his full earning potential in Major League Baseball without a bunch of hassle: South Korea is in the Asian Games baseball final, where they’ll take on Taiwan tomorrow.
I’m kind of torn on who to root for here. On the one hand, sure, I’d like to see Choo play baseball in the U.S. without having to become a criminal at home or renounce his citizenship or whatever. On the other hand, if every able-bodied Korean has to serve in the army, I’m not sure how it’s fair that Choo gets out of it simply for being good at baseball. Not that anything I think about how South Korea sets up its military rules matters.
If it were up to him, Blue Jays third baseman Josh Donaldson would finish the remainder of his career in Toronto. In fact, he’d be “ticked pink” if the club decided to sign him to a long-term deal. Whether the Blue Jays share that sentiment is still unclear, as Donaldson said Saturday that the team has yet to engage his agent in extension talks.
“I’ve said that I wanted to be here,” he told MLB.com’s Gregor Chisholm. “That’s pretty much all I can say. I’m not the one who makes the decisions, nor would I try to put them in the position to do that. Like I said, I believe the situation will become more fluid when the time is right.”
That doesn’t necessarily mean an extension is out of the question. The Blue Jays reached an unprecedented one-year, $23 million agreement with the three-time All-Star in arbitration, and have been reticent to field trade offers despite continued interest from the Cardinals this winter.
Donaldson, 32, is poised to enter his eighth season in the majors and fourth with the Blue Jays. In 2017, he batted .270/.385/.559 with 33 home runs and a .944 OPS in 496 plate appearances, ranking sixth among all major league third baseman with 5.0 fWAR. He’s scheduled to enter free agency following the 2018 season.