The New York Yankees are apparently targeting soon to be free agent Shin-Soo Choo, reports Jon Heyman, though outfield is not their top priority according to what multiple sources have told him.
Choo was reportedly the “only” elite free agent the Mets were expected to pursue this offseason, according to what team sources said to ESPN New York’s Adam Rubin.
If there was any chance that the Mets could get Choo, it probably will go by the wayside once Scott Boras gets the Yankees involved in the bidding war that will ensue. Reportedly, at least eight other teams see Choo as a fit and are prepared to make aggressive offers for the Reds center fielder.
I like Choo, and I have no doubt that he’d be an upgrade over Eric Young Jr. in left field. Choo’s .423 on-base this season was over 100 points higher than Young and the dominance doesn’t stop there. Compare Choo’s 4.2 WAR to Young’s 0.8 WAR and the disparity between the two becomes even more prevalent.
Defensively, when you put Choo in left field rather than center, he also becomes a defensive upgrade over Young.
While Young offers a tiny bit more speed than Choo, his career .389 OBP and .854 OBP completely blow Young away.
Put Choo hitting in front of David Wright and most likely you’ll see a 100+ RBI season from the captain.
The best thing about Choo in context to the Mets is that he’s just as good on the road as he is at Great American Ballpark, something to keep in mind for you home/road splits worry warts.
But as I told one reader in a mailbag question last week, while I have no doubt that the Mets will target a player like Choo, if only to drum up fan interest and create a little buzz this offseason, there’s literally very little chance that Sandy Alderson will go to $100 million to get him.
And make no mistake, that’s what it will take especially with Boras driving the auction and the Yankees and two other AL East teams also interested.
So yes, the Mets will most likely target Choo this Winter as their “only” elite free agent option, but targeting him is probably as close as they’ll get to signing him. They’ll never get past the kicking the tires phase…
Just remember that while we “assume” the Mets have $25-30 million to spend this offseason, we “know” that the Yankees have $75-85 million to spend.