Jeong Choi, the top third baseman in Korea and a former Korean Series MVP, is a free agent after this season and could add extra star power to the third-base market this winter.
Choi, sometimes cited as Korea's version of David Wright for his all-around play and good looks, is known as a five-tool player and excellent athlete in the Korean League. Choi, 27, has hit .300 and posted an OPS over .900 each of the past four seasons playing for SK Wyverns while averaging more than 23 home runs. His best season was his last season, as he hit 28 home runs, good for third in the league, slugged .551 (second in the league) and got on base at a .429 rate (second). He also has shown 20-steal ability in Korea.
"He has a strong desire to come and play in the major leagues," Choi's agent Melvin Roman said.
The free-agent market for hitters is expected to be very thin, though third base could be one of the stronger everyday positions in a winter where the very top players may be starting pitchers. While there may be some debate as to how Choi's game will translate to the big leagues, the strong success of Korean star Hyun-Jin Ryu with the Dodgers can only enhance the interest in Choi. Pablo Sandoval, who seeks $100-million plus, as was written here, plus Chase Headley and Aramis Ramirez are among the top third basemen eligible for free agency.
The Diamondbacks, White Sox, Red Sox and several others -- possibly the Giants and Padres depending on what happens with Sandoval and Headley -- could be in the market for a third baseman. Choi was an all-around player coming out of high school, where he also had success as a pitcher. Needless to say, he is known for having a very strong arm.