MLB rumors: Shin-Soo Choo signs with Korean team; Carlos Correa hints at deadline for Astros extension

Pitchers and catchers have already reported to MLB spring training, and we’re methodically working our way toward Grapefruit and Cactus League action. Despite that relatively late hour, we’ve still got a semi-steady supply of offseason scuttle to address. Speaking of which, here’s your Thursday dose of MLB rumors. 

Shin-soo Choo headed to Korea for 2021 season

Veteran outfielder Shin-soo Choo has signed a contract with a KBO team that will pay him the equivalent of $2.4 million for the 2021 season, the Associated Press reports. Choo will play for the South Korean team formerly known as the SK Wyverns. The forthcoming name change is owing tor new ownership. Choo has announced that he’ll donate a large percentage of his salary to charity. He posted this to his Instagram account

“I was born in Korea where I was raised and started baseball. I’ve always had hopes in my heart for a long time to play in Korea one day. Now I think it’s time to put into action and start a new chapter of my life. I might not be able to promise how good I will be, but I promise that I will do my best.”

Choo, 38, spent parts of 16 seasons in MLB. Over that span, he put up and OPS+ of 122 with 218 home runs and 157 stolen bases for the Mariners, Indians, Reds, and Rangers. His MLB career ends with a WAR of 34.6. That’s not sufficient to merit serious Hall of Fame consideration, but it constitutes a darn good career.  

Now Choo gets to put a fulfilling capstone on all of it with a return to his native country. 

All-Star shortstop Carlos Correa has been part of the Astros since they nabbed him with the top overall pick of the 2012 draft. However, Correa is now headed into this walk year, and that raises the possibility that the Astros lifer will depart via free agency next offseason. 

Correa sounds like he wants to stay in Houston, but like a lot of players he doesn’t want his state of contractual limbo to stretch into the regular season. Via’s Brian McTaggart, here’s what Correa said about that: 

“If the Astros want to extend me, I would like to get it done before the season starts. I feel good, my body feels great and I feel I’m going to have such a great season. Once the season starts, I don’t want to be involved and distracted with those conversations.”

While McTaggart notes that the two sides have yet to have any conversations about an extension, GM James Click has in the past expressed interest in keeping Correa in Houston beyond this season. There’s also this: 

Correa, 26, is a former AL Rookie of the Year who owns a career OPS+ of 126 across parts of six MLB seasons. That’s outstanding production, particular for a player who mans the vital position of shortstop. On the downside, Correa does have a substantial injury history. 

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