Indians, Choo agree on 1-year contractChoo Shin-soo has reached a one-year deal with Major League Baseball’s Cleveland Indians, and looks to be eyeing a much more lucrative contract in the future. Despite strong speculation that a three-year deal was in the offing, USA Today reported yesterday that the right fielder agreed to one year - making him eligible for arbitration at the end of the upcoming season.
Choo hired sports agent Scott Boras earlier this month, which many see as a sign that the right fielder is looking to cash in at a later date rather than secure a multiyear deal now. Choo will be eligible for free agency after the 2013 season.
The 27-year-old Busan native still has mandatory military service to worry about. Legally, Korean men are required to begin their 21 months of military service before the age of 35.
Although Choo has been in the United States long enough to apply for American citizenship, he has ruled out that option in the past. A gold medal in the upcoming 2010 Asian Games in Guangzhou, China, would exempt Choo from his military obligation, and his chances look good. Japan recently announced it will field a team of amateur players, while the Korean national team has promised to field a top team.
Choo previously signed a one-year deal with the Indians on Feb. 22 2009, for $420,333. He went on to a record-setting season, batting .300 with 20 home runs, 86 RBI and 21 stolen bases. The 27-year-old became the first Asian player in the Major League to join the 20-20 club.
Choo came to the Indians via a trade in 2006 and had his first notable season in 2008, hitting .309 with 14 home runs, 66 RBI and four stolen bases.
By Jason Kim [firstname.lastname@example.org]