The Mets have reached out to super agent Scott Boras to express interest in free agent outfielder Shin-Soo Choo, reports Mike Puma of the New York Post. No dollars or parameters for a deal were discussed according to a team official.
That same team official also told Puma that other than Cano, there are no players the Mets will not be in play on.
Choo is expected to draw interest from 8-10 teams and projections have him netting as much as $90 million dollars which is exactly where Boras places his value.
My guess is that he’ll get slightly less than that and sign a five-year deal for $80 million.
Mark Simon of ESPN made a compelling case for Choo which we posted earlier and you can read below.
Here’s a great list of ten free agents the Mets should target as compiled by Mark Simon of ESPN New York. He includes a capsule for all ten players and even mentions some new names not often bandied about like David Murphy and J.P. Howell.
As always, Mark’s posts are chock full of great insights and interesting nuggets of statistical information. I wanted to point out what he had to say about Shin-Soo Choo, but you really should check out and read his entire column.
Here’s the argument for signing him: The Mets had a .236/.306/.366 slashline (batting average/on-base percentage/slugging percentage) against right-handed pitching. Those ranked 28th, 24th and 28th in the majors respectively. But for one exception (2011), Choo has been a ferocious hitter against right-handers. His slashline against them over the last five seasons is .311/.416/.521 with a large chunk of that coming in Cleveland (as opposed to hitter-favorable Cincinnati). A typical team will get about 70 percent of its plate appearances against righties (as the Mets did in 2013). The Mets need to improve their performance against that 70 percent. Choo would do that in a big way.
I wish I had a tiny bit of confidence that the Mets had real dollars to spend this offseason because if they did, Choo would be my number one target this offseason.
Over the last five years going back to 2009, Choo has averaged a 4.14 WAR and this season he performed to a 4.2 level. Based on WAR, Choo has performed at the exact same level as David Wright during the last five seasons and both players are the same age.
Looking at their career numbers, Choo has a 134 OPS+ vs a 137 OPS+ for Wright, and Choo has a slight edge with a .389 OBP compared to .382 for Wright.
Choo will likely get a 4-5 year deal that will average about $15-17 million per season. That would mean a deal that ranges anywhere between $70-$85 million in total guaranteed dollars.
For a front office and ownership that keeps squawking that they can spend as they once did, that shouldn’t be a problem.
Defensively, Choo has no business being in center field, but his range, speed and instincts would make him an above average defender in left field.
The Mets need to add some credibility. Signing Choo isn’t the end-all, be-all, but it would bring them one step closer to achieving that credibility.
It also gives them the outfield upgrade they claim they are looking for as well as giving them one of the best on-base performers in the game to bat leadoff.