Updated Post 1:44 PM
MLB Trade Rumors just posted something that would add to the debate on Choo as a potential acquisition for the Mets in 2014. I also updated the original post to indicate that Choo’s best position is right-field.
Of course, as with most free agents, Choo’s next contract will cover post-prime years, perhaps age 31-35. With Boras doing the negotiating, we can’t rule out a sixth year or a salary in the $18-20MM range, plus the loss of a draft pick.
Are you guys ready for another Winter of debating the loss of a pick, even if in the Mets case it’s a second round pick based on where this season is heading?
Original Post 12:44
Tyler Kepner of the New York Times, had an article this morning suggesting the Mets should make a strong attempt at signing Reds center fielder Shin-Soo Choo if they are serious about contending in 2014. Choo is a free agent at the end of this season.
Choo, 30, was acquired by the Reds in the offseason for highly regarded shortstop prospect Didi Gregorious and outfielder Drew Stubbs. According to Kepner, Cincinnati Choo was charged targeted Choo to fix their problems in the leadoff spot, which produced a .254 on-base percentage last season. So far, Choo has delivered in a big way, ranking second in the National League with a .455 on-base percentage.
The Scott Boras client has always been able to hit for average and get on base as his career .386 OBP would attest. Going into this season, he has averaged 38 doubles and 90 runs per season in his career. He also can give the Mets power and speed while providing solid range and defense in center field, though right field is his best position. The left-handed batter has averaged 15 home runs and 20 stolen bases in a typical season for him and is on a pace to smash both of those marks in his walk year with the Reds.
“He’s the big reason why we are where we are right now,” said Brandon Phillips of the Reds, who hold the second-best record in the National League. “Playing against him when he was with the Indians, I always told everybody he’s one of the best all-around players in baseball — underrated. Right now he’s just being himself. It’s a blessing to have him over here.”
Kepner also adds that the South Korean native, might be a sensation in New York, whose metropolitan area has the second-largest Korean population in the United States, behind Los Angeles.
Obviously, I love Choo and had wanted the Mets to go after him last offseason, and even though he’ll be a year older I would still have no problem bringing him on board for the 2014 season and beyond. I’m assuming it would require at least a four-year commitment and the bidding from other teams will be aggressive. That’s the part that frightens me – or should I say frightens Sandy Alderson. You see, I’ll maintain what I’ve been saying all along about him and that is that he doesn’t have the stomach for these types of negotiations. To quote myself from last October, “Alderson doesn’t have the ability to go after a desirable and marketable free-agent, it sin’t in his DNA.”
The problem is will Alderson be willing to spend and come out strong?
Or will it be another Winter of waiting for the market to settle to his liking, which of course never happens leaving him to scamper and pick the bones of whatever carcass he can find on the scrap heap?