San Diego, who only took Choi, what do you do when your 1B and DH are both lefties?
The San Diego Padres took a ‘buyer’ despite having a less than 5% chance of winning. They bolstered their lineup at the trade deadline, acquiring Choi and Rich Hill from the Pittsburgh Pirates. But San Diego already had left-handed hitting options in first baseman Jake Cronenworth and designated hitter Matt Carpenter. Why did they need Choi?
Choi was acquired just before the trade deadline. The Padres sent three prospects to Pittsburgh for Choi and Hill in order to add a left-handed bat and a starting pitcher.
In San Diego, Choi is expected to play more designated hitter than first base. “A veteran who can work the count against right-handed pitching, stay out of the strike zone, and hit for power,” The Athletic said of Choi, explaining what San Diego gained in the deal.먹튀검증
The following sentence is the decisive factor behind this trade. The Dodgers didn’t have a left-handed designated hitter, but they didn’t have a ‘usable’ one. San Diego’s first baseman/designated hitter OPS was 29th out of 30 teams. The Athletic writes, “San Diego has watched a few players this year but hasn’t found a proper left-handed designated hitter. Choi may be the only one who can provide that.”
The most prominent example is Matt Carpenter. The 37-year-old veteran had a dramatic resurgence last year with the Yankees, hitting .305 with 15 homers and a 1.138 OPS in 47 games, but this year with San Diego, he’s hit just .166 with four homers and a .598 OPS in 66 games.
In an article evaluating the trade, the outlet noted, “San Diego tried to fill the designated hitter spot with Nelson Cruz and Matt Carpenter. Cruz was released early last month. Carpenter has an OPS of .598. Choi’s .789 OPS against right-handed pitching could help the team,” he said, adding that Choi could be an alternative to Carpenter.
For others, it’s more about being a veteran who can improve the clubhouse atmosphere. NBC San Diego wrote, “The Dodgers don’t have a talent problem. Instead, they have a weakness in chemistry. That’s why they’ve turned to two of the most respected players in the majors as a ‘bridge’ to solve that problem,” writing, “Choi is a true clubhouse leader and beloved by his teammates.”
In addition to Choi and Kim, the Padres now have three Korean players on their roster, including Byung-yong Choi (Shin Il-Go-New Mexico Military Institute), who was selected in the 20th round of the amateur draft.