The Brewers have agreed to terms with free-agent first baseman/left fielder Ji-Man Choi on a Minor League deal, according to a report from Naver Sports. The club has not confirmed the report.
Choi reportedly would receive an invitation to Spring Training and would earn a $850,000 salary if he cracked the Major League roster. According to the report, Choi will have opt-outs at the end of Spring Training and on June 15, so the deal is presumably a Minor League pact.
The contract also includes incentives that could increase the figure up to $1.5 million, including $200,000 after his first 200 Major League at-bats and $100,000 for each subsequent 100 at-bats.
Eric Thames is expected to start at first base for the Brewers, so Choi likely will compete with Jesus Aguilar for a roster spot. Aguilar has the advantage of being a right-handed complement to the lefty-swinging Thames, but Choi has more positional flexibility, given his ability to play left field.
Choi, 26, hit two home runs in 18 plate appearances for the Yankees in 2017 and slashed .120/.271/.339 in 129 plate appearances for the Angels the year before. He spent most of last season with Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, for which he hit .288/.373/.538 with 15 home runs in 338 plate appearances.
Aguilar, 27, has a similar offensive profile to Choi and broke out last year in his first full Major League season. He slashed .263/.331/.505 with 16 home runs in 311 plate appearances.
Choi played first base and designated hitter in the Yankees' organization last season but does have extensive experience in left field. He played 20 of his 54 games with the Angels in the outfield and has played the position in the Minor Leagues dating back to 2014.