Shin-Soo Choo: Manny without the power?

  • Thread starter MentalDisabldLst
  • Start date

How much of a priority should signing him be for Ben Cherington et al?


  • Total voters
    223
M

MentalDisabldLst

Guest
There's discussion in the Ellsbury thread about Shin-Soo Choo as a potential replacement.  Given how good he is, he deserves his own thread and consideration.
 
Choo (Wiki bio) is a current FA and former player for SEA (cups of coffee), CLE (5-year starter at RF) and CIN (1-year starter at CF).  He became a full-time starter for CLE in 2008 at age 25, and is now 31.  All "career" stats below will be for his full-time starter period, 2008-2013.  So, here's how I view his candidacy for our roster:
 

 
Assets
 
1. He is among the very best players in baseball at getting on base.  From 2008-2013, in total, he has ranked #9 in total offensive value, right in between Andrew McCutchen and Adrian Gonzalez.  His OBP in that time averaged .392, with a high of .423 in 2013, and his career slash stats as a starter being .290 / .392 / .469 / .861 (that's an OPS+ of 137).  In 2013 his plate discipline ranked #6 in MLB, with a miniscule O-Swing of 22.1%, although his contact rate (~80%) is a bit low for someone of his strike zone judgment and his Swinging Strike rate (7.8%) is a bit higher than the other leaders in plate discipline.  The dude can rake, and always has.
 
2. Some speed and good instincts on the bases.  He has averaged around 20 SB / year since becoming a starter, with a middling 73% success rate.  He has averaged +6.6 runs/year for his baserunning, and is reputed to have good instincts.  Although he is not without his mistakes, he also has plenty of plus plays as well.
 
3. Relatively little wear-and-tear and injury risk.  He's been playing baseball for a while, and was the MVP of the junior world championship-winning South Korea team (as a pitcher!).  However, he only has about 6 years of full-time starting experience in the league.  He was injured for about 1/3 of the 2011 season: 7 weeks after surgery for a broken thumb, and 2 weeks later that year for a strained left oblique, hurt during a check-swing.  Other than that, he's been an every-day player.
 
4. A laser, rocket arm.  He is a converted pitcher from his time in the Korean leagues, and claims he can still hit 95.  In 2011, an AL scout claimed he had the best arm in the league, better than Ichiro, and apparently ranking between 6.5 and a full 8 on the Scout ratings, among the top 7 players in MLB.  This past year, BleacherReport polled 305 MLB players about OF arms, and Choo ranked #1, ahead of Francoeur, Puig, Ichiro, etc.
 
Liabilities
 
1. His defense stinks.  No, that's too kind: He takes Magellan-like routes to balls, and lacks a quick first step (which, at 5'11" and 205 lbs, isn't that surprising).  From 2009-2012 as a RF, his Defensive rating on Fangraphs was -33.6 runs over those 4 years, 17th out of 19 qualified RFs, and 14th out of 19 in UZR/150 at -3.4.  When Cincinnati had the brilliant idea to move him to CF this past year, he was last by a mile in both Defensive rating (-14.6) and UZR/150 (-17.0), out of 19 qualifiers.  Boston may have a unique mitigant for this in the form of LF, defense for which values arm strength more highly than most and range less highly than any other LF.
 
2. He has doubles power, but is not a highlight-reel slugger.  His ISO-P is at .176 for his career.  For all of his BABIP prowess (.350 for his career), he has averaged 37 doubles, 4 triples and 20 HRs while batting (usually) leadoff for CIN and CLE.
 
3. There are many teams rumored to be in on him, and he is represented by, who else, Scott Boras.  In contention are reportedly the Rangers, Detroit, Seattle (caveat: Rosenthal), and of course the Reds, for whom he played last year.  Jon Heyman said he was the #1 priority for the Yankees, but I think at this point we can say he was clueless.  Boras is reportedly looking for a $20M AAV deal.
 
4. The Reds made him a QO, so signing him costs us our first-rounder.  Of course, not many #30 picks in the draft end up better than Choo is right now.  Independent of everything else, I really enjoy all the little reminders that we f'ing won the world series last year.  Final pick in each round of the draft?  Darn, that's just too bad.
 
5. He had a DUI in May 2011.  Arrest.  Pleaded no-contest, paid a fine, had license suspended for that year.  No other incidents that I can uncover.
 
My Assessment
 
Choo is by far the best hitter we can sign, and is a good bet to be Adrian Gonzalez-like at the plate.  His similarities to Manny are numerous (bad range but great arm in the OF, great plate discipline, possible move to DH in a few years, and a skillset that projects well for his 30s), minus the MVP-level HR power.
 
I think he may well be more worth $20M/year than Ellsbury.  Even if you need to then get more CF defense, the offensive upgrade from Gomes/Nava to Choo in the lineup is enormous, and the upgrade from Ellsbury to Choo would still be very substantial.
 

MakMan44

stole corsi's dream
SoSH Member
Aug 22, 2009
19,310
He can't not hit lefties. At all. I think someone mentioned he has a decent OBP against them but he's still bad enough that platooning him is a legitimate idea. I just don't see him being worth what's he's going to get.
 

Brianish

Member
SoSH Member
Dec 11, 2008
4,859
I would love to have Choo in left. It's hard to beat the OBP, and the naive part of me hopes he'll be underrated BECAUSE of his lack of huge HR numbers. I'm not as worried about the draft pick as I might be, since we're low in the first round as it is, and we look to pick up several supplementaries. We wouldn't really lose much standing; the loss of money would hurt, though. I actually think his defense might wind up an asset in Fenway's left; with that arm, he'll throw out a lot of guys looking to turn singles into doubles. He's got a pretty severe platoon split, but he maintains a respectable OBP and we've already got Gomes to spell him against tough lefties. 
 
Having said all that, I wouldn't be comfortable with him for much more than a Lackey-esque contract, and that's not happening with his agent. If the price falls into that region, I'd take him in a heart beat. But I doubt it. If we're getting into 6+ years and 100+ million, stay away. 
 

Savin Hillbilly

loves the secret sauce
SoSH Member
Jul 10, 2007
18,381
The wrong side of the bridge....
MentalDisabldLst said:
Choo is by far the best hitter we can sign, and is a good bet to be Adrian Gonzalez-like at the plate.  His similarities to Manny are numerous (bad range but great arm in the OF, great plate discipline, possible move to DH in a few years, and a skillset that projects well for his 30s), minus the MVP-level HR power.
 
Is the bolded really true? I thought the current CW is that precisely because power and speed are the most likely skills to deteriorate in a player's 30s, players who start off with large amounts of them project better than players who don't.
 
I voted $12M, not because I think he isn't worth a bit more than that right now, but because I think by the fourth year of a 5-6 year contract (if not sooner) he'll be a platoon DH, and as a platoon DH he's a <$10M player, even if he retains his skills pretty well.
 
What I would really offer him--and I know perfectly well that this doesn't get it done--is something like 3/50 with a $15M option. And I hold the line at 4/60. No way on God's green earth do I offer him 5 guaranteed years, let alone 6. The rate of decline in his value is just too hard to predict.
 

benhogan

Baynes Hogan (pending trade)
SoSH Member
Nov 2, 2007
7,264
Santa Monica
The upgrade of Choo over Nava isn't worth the money Boras will get for Choo
 
Don't want to sacrifice a first round pick.
 
Nava/Gomes platoon in LF works just fine.
 

Devizier

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 3, 2000
10,383
Somewhere
I went with "other priorities" and $20M.

Those might seem like contradictory statements, but I'm envisioning what it *would* take to be serious about Choo and hoping that the Red Sox look elsewhere.
 

m0ckduck

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 20, 2005
844
Boston should have an opening at DH in a year or two-- just saying. They could hide Choo there, esp. during road games, in the later years of a contract.
 
But, I agree that his choice of agent, plus teams' tendency to still overvalue offense at the expense of defense, makes it vanishingly unlikely that he'll be here. 
 

moondog80

heart is two sizes two small
SoSH Member
Sep 20, 2005
5,222
Are the concerns about his defense overstated?  It's only the past couple of years his dWar has dipped below -1, and this past year he was playing out of position in CF.  The fact that the Reds deemed him even acceptable in CF at all (and acquired him with that in mind) makes me think he'd be OK in LF, and not just because of Fenway.
 

The Gray Eagle

Member
SoSH Member
Aug 1, 2001
12,936
Choo is basically a rich man's Nava, we don't need to be investing big money, big years and a first round pick in a guy like that.
 

OilCanShotTupac

Sunny von Bulow
Gold Supporter
SoSH Member
Jan 10, 2004
17,316
The 718
benhogan said:
The upgrade of Choo over Nava isn't worth the money Boras will get for Choo
 
Don't want to sacrifice a first round pick.
 
Nava/Gomes platoon in LF works just fine.
 
This is pretty much where I am.  I like Choo, always have, but with so few guys on the market, several teams in on Choo, and Boras, it's likely going to be a huge contract.  If it were just dollars, I wouldn't care, it's not my money and the Red Sox have plenty.  But there's the loss of the draft pick, which I don't like, and the likely length of the contract, which would make it an albatross at the end. 
 
Over the past few years FA market is getting smaller, in that there are fewer guys out there, and the contracts are getting way bigger. That makes it harder to count on plugging holes through free agency than it used to be, even for a wealthy team.  So draft picks are more important than they used to be IMO, whether the guys drafted become roster pieces or trade chips. 
 
I like Choo a lot, I think he could be a great fit, it's just likely to be too rich a price, especially with possible OF help on the way from the farm.
 

drtooth

2:30
Lifetime Member
SoSH Member
Feb 23, 2004
11,167
Someone's Molars
This is the type of long term, big money contract that this FO has been trying to get away from since the Dodger trade.  No thank you.
 

Ed Hillel

Wants to be startin somethin
SoSH Member
Dec 12, 2007
22,094
Here
The upgrade of Choo over Nava isn't worth the money Boras will get for Choo

Don't want to sacrifice a first round pick.

Nava/Gomes platoon in LF works just fine.


This is where I am at as well, though I do have concerns about shouldering such a load on JBJ. I would feel more comfortable with another outfielder in the mix, but not at Anything near Choo's price. Who that may be I cannot say, but I'd personally be interested in knowing what the Dodgers' expectations are in regards to Andre Ethier. That may leave JBJ in a bit of a purgatory, but I can't help but think that he'd still get plenty of playing time with Vic Torino's bodice seemingly ready to completely unravel at a moment's notice.
 

koufax37

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 20, 2005
2,463
If the dollars aren't crazy, I like him a lot.  2-3 years of corner OF, and 2-3 years of DH with a lot of offensive value in that time is a huge addition to us winning some baseball games.  The thing to measure other than the contract is what he really projects as costing us in RF (or LF if moved), and it would pit JBJ/Nava/Gomes in a one position battle.
 

KillerBs

lurker
Nov 16, 2006
812
So much depends on what you make of Nava. If he really is the player he was in 2013, Choo doesn't make sense at big money. Like everyone else, forever, I can't help but harbor my doubts.
 
There aren't going to be any better OF bats coming available in FA for awhile.
 
If Choo is only really passable defensively in LF is moving on from Gomes a year early a possibility? So much for chemistry I suppose. 
 
And the Tigers are out on Choo it seems:
 
http://www.mlive.com/tigers/index.ssf/2013/12/dave_dombrowski_detroit_tigers_11.html#incart_2box
 

OilCanShotTupac

Sunny von Bulow
Gold Supporter
SoSH Member
Jan 10, 2004
17,316
The 718
Rudy Pemberton said:
The upgrade from Nava to Choo is massive; like 3 wins. I can understand not wanting to give Choo a long term deal; but he's a great offensive player, one of the best in baseball. Nava is a very useful player who provides incredible value but he's not in Choo's league.
 
I agree, but I cringe at what it would cost to get him, and when you factor in the likely length of the contract, the loss of the draft pick, the fact that Nava/Gomes are (unexceptional but) solid, the likely inability of Choo to play anywhere but LF in Fenway, and the (decent) odds that one or more of the OF prospects on the way up could help in the near future, I'm leery.
 
If they sign him to one of these massive Boras deals, I'll be happy to have him, but I'd rather not go to six, seven, eight years for him at long money, for the reasons stated.
 

Todd Benzinger

Member
SoSH Member
Aug 23, 2001
4,400
So Ill
The Gray Eagle said:
Choo is basically a rich man's Nava, we don't need to be investing big money, big years and a first round pick in a guy like that.
 
Exactly! His steamer projection is eerily close to Nava's 2013-- Choo 2014 projection: 272/385/432; Nava 2013: 303/385/445... Choo's steamer WRC+ is 130, Nava's real one is 128.
 
Now, of course, Nava's steamer is much wore than Choo's, because Choo has a longer and deeper history of success, and just had a career year... Choo's a better bet, but Nava really is Choo-lite.
 
I was thinking that his defense couldn't be that bad, he was just miscast in CF--but I've been convinced that he is much worse than that would imply.
 

The Mort Report

Member
SoSH Member
Aug 5, 2007
1,454
Winter Hill
Rudy Pemberton said:
The upgrade from Nava to Choo is massive; like 3 wins. I can understand not wanting to give Choo a long term deal; but he's a great offensive player, one of the best in baseball. Nava is a very useful player who provides incredible value but he's not in Choo's league.
 
Sure he has a higher WAR, but in almost 25% more PA
 
scale Choo's 716 PA to match Nava's 536:
 
Nava H:139 R:77 2B:29 HR:12 RBI:66 SO:93 BB:51 SB:0 CS:2
Choo H:121 R:80 2B:25 HR:16 RBI:41 SO:100 BB:84 SB:16 CS:8
 
We aren't looking at numbers that are very different.  With his high walk total, Choo would have reached base 205 times to Nava's 190.  But he also has 7 more SOs that provide zero offensive value, and ran into 6 more outs than Nava on the base paths.  Stealing 2nd doesn't guarantee value if you get stranded there, or if one of the CS killed a rally.  If you count the 6 extra outs he created running, he only got on base 9 more times than Nava.  I can't even view allocating 10 million for this offensive upgrade.  I'm sure the money can be used for much greater upgrades
 
edit: also, for the defense argument, if he ends up in LF that greatly negates his value in half the games
 

Flynn4ever

Member
SoSH Member
I would love Choo on this team, particularly as I am married to a Korean and that would just solidify her love of the Sox (which isn't really necessary, we just got our WS Championship gear delivered yesterday, happy day in our household!) He'll get Jacoby level money (or close to it) and if we didn't pay it to Jacoby we won't pay it to Choo. I said that in-house options or a short term bridge to platoon with JBJ would be the best way to go, unless Choo's AAV were ridiculously low (I put in 17.5 mil.)
 

ragnarok725

Well-Known Member
Gold Supporter
SoSH Member
Nov 28, 2003
4,973
Somerville MA
OilCanShotTupac said:
 
This is pretty much where I am.  I like Choo, always have, but with so few guys on the market, several teams in on Choo, and Boras, it's likely going to be a huge contract.  If it were just dollars, I wouldn't care, it's not my money and the Red Sox have plenty.  But there's the loss of the draft pick, which I don't like, and the likely length of the contract, which would make it an albatross at the end. 
 
Over the past few years FA market is getting smaller, in that there are fewer guys out there, and the contracts are getting way bigger. That makes it harder to count on plugging holes through free agency than it used to be, even for a wealthy team.  So draft picks are more important than they used to be IMO, whether the guys drafted become roster pieces or trade chips. 
 
I like Choo a lot, I think he could be a great fit, it's just likely to be too rich a price, especially with possible OF help on the way from the farm.
 
I'm pretty neutral on the question of Choo, but I'm not sure the first bolded sentence necessarily implies the second here. If anything, the fact that there are fewer options hitting the FA market it means that you should really make sure you lock up the guys you're really high on - the guys who are consistent and have skillsets that you value. The Sox don't have a lot of organizational depth at the corner OF spots, or at the DH long term. Choo gets on base as well as anyone out there and has done it consistently. These are things that I'm sure the Sox like. 
 
I think the lesson is that if you are going to be going after a high-priced FA (and with the budget they have, the Sox can afford one or two of those on the roster), make sure it's a guy that you're happy being wedded to for the length of the contract. That's a much higher priority than immediate positional fit.
 
In terms of picks - there's no better year to give up a pick than this year for the Sox. They're going to pick up at least a couple sandwich picks, and the first rounder they'd be giving up is virtually a sandwich pick itself. They'll still have a fine draft if they lose their first this year. Sure, more bullets is better and they'll be at the end of the sandwich round, but if they really like Choo then I think I'd be happy about it.
 

mauf

Anderson Cooper x Mr. Rogers
Staff member
Dope
Gold Supporter
Nick Swisher got 4/56 last winter (5/70 if you include an option that will vest if he's a healthy, everyday player in year 4).

Choo is roughly eight months younger than Swisher was a year ago and is coming off a similar season (128 wRC+ in 2012 for Swisher, 130 for Choo). Swisher was, by metrics and by reputation, an average corner OF with a plus arm. Choo has hit higher peaks of performance, but Swisher has been far more durable. Choo is obviously the better baserunner.

Also, Choo has more in-market competition than I recall Swisher having -- in addition to Beltran, the Dodgers are likely to move an OF (the 4/68 left on Ethier's deal could likely be had for a lot less than the value of a first-round pick, perhaps with a subsidy).

I think Choo will get more than Swisher did, but not by as much as the conventional wisdom suggests -- I'm guessing he gets $80-90mm over 5-6 years.
 
M

MentalDisabldLst

Guest
Swisher far more durable?  Choo has 1 major injury (freak-type) and 1 minor injury (possibly conditioning-related, but obliques could also be a freak injury), both in 2011, out of 9 years in the league.  Swisher has one minor injury (2005, joint sprain, possibly conditioning-related) out of 10 years in the league.  They are both about as durable as you could possibly ask for.
 

baruch20

lurker
Jul 31, 2006
225
North Shore
[sharedmedia=gallery:images:1083]



I'd love to have him for 13-15 mil per, at maybe 4 seasons with an option.  Anything more than that . . . well
 
 
 
 
The Albatross has landed !
 

Sampo Gida

Member
SoSH Member
Aug 7, 2010
5,038
Just don't see the hole needing to be filled here. Prettty happy with Gomes/Nava in LF and Victorino in RF.  Have to give JBJ a shot at CF,if he can't hack it then make a deal at the deadline.
 
Choo won't be cheap and has issues that have already been pointed out on defense and against LHP'ers.  Lot of interest in Choo which will drive up his price, and while he may not get Ellsbury money he probably gets close to 6/110.  
 

Toe Nash

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 28, 2005
4,541
02130
One thing that's notable: Choo's 2013 was a career year for getting on base. He had a 15.7% BB rate compared to a previous high of 12.8% and a career mark of 12.2%. He was also hit by 26 pitches, having never before been hit by more than 17. So I would expect a more modest, though of course still very good, OBP going forward.
 
I think he is a very good player but hard to justify at that age, with little or no defensive value and playing an easy position to fill. We have a very capable LF platoon right now, LF is easy to fill (we may be able to shift Cecchini there, and Nava/Gomes themselves are evidence of that anyway) and yes there is an opening at DH soon but those are relatively easy to find too. You're not going to get another Papi easily but Choo isn't that either.
 
If the Sox offered Choo more than what they offered Ellsbury that wouldn't make much sense to me. So I don't think they get him even if there's interest.
 

Savin Hillbilly

loves the secret sauce
SoSH Member
Jul 10, 2007
18,381
The wrong side of the bridge....
Sampo Gida said:
Just don't see the hole needing to be filled here. Prettty happy with Gomes/Nava in LF and Victorino in RF.  Have to give JBJ a shot at CF,if he can't hack it then make a deal at the deadline.
 
There isn't necessarily a hole to be filled for 2014, but there certainly is for the medium to long term. There just isn't that much OF talent in the system, especially at the corners--it's the one place where our deep depth is dangerously shallow. Seems to me that acquiring a solid corner OF who's locked up for several years is somewhere between desirable and mandatory. It doesn't have to be Choo, and it doesn't have to be now, but it needs to be somebody, and soon.
 

Sampo Gida

Member
SoSH Member
Aug 7, 2010
5,038
Savin Hillbilly said:
 
There isn't necessarily a hole to be filled for 2014, but there certainly is for the medium to long term. There just isn't that much OF talent in the system, especially at the corners--it's the one place where our deep depth is dangerously shallow. Seems to me that acquiring a solid corner OF who's locked up for several years is somewhere between desirable and mandatory. It doesn't have to be Choo, and it doesn't have to be now, but it needs to be somebody, and soon.
 
Good point.  I think there will always been someone available as a FA (thin market for FA next year at OF but Rasmus will be available) or via trade, and there is a chance Brentz could progress if he can avoid shooting himself in the foot. 
 
It really hinges on JBJ panning out.  Victorino and Nava are locked down for the next 2 years.  If JBJ does not cut it then the need becomes more urgent.  Just worried getting somebody now means they don't give JBJ a real shot, especially if he struggles at the start of the season.
 

DennyDoyle'sBoil

Found no thrill on Blueberry Hill
SoSH Member
Sep 9, 2008
27,430
AZ
19.6 fWins in the last five years. Plenty of highlights from last year in the binder. Best free agent left. Multiple teams with a need and reports of at least a couple with interest. Boras.

This guy is going to sign for a big number, or at least bigger than we have been led to believe the Red Sox are all about right now. This discussion seems pretty academic to me. Really can't see him landing in Boston.

Edit: oops. Second best, of course. I've already penciled in the other guy for the MFY.
 

ALiveH

Member
SoSH Member
Apr 23, 2010
1,087
He's a great bat for this line up and philosophy.  I play him in LF with Bradley & Victorino in  CF/RF.  Depending on injuries / matchups / Vic/JBJ struggles he's the backup CF/RF and Nava/Gomes are still deep depth.
 
I'd be fine paying up to $15 mm / year for him on a contract length that makes sense.
 

mauf

Anderson Cooper x Mr. Rogers
Staff member
Dope
Gold Supporter
I'd be fine paying up to $15 mm / year for him on a contract length that makes sense.


What does that mean? Even folks who are bearish on Choo would be happy if the Sox snagged him out of the bargain bin.

I think the market for Choo will be less robust than the conventional wisdom assumes, but even I don't think $15mm a year will get it done unless the Sox are willing to go 6 years. Does that length "make sense" to you? Or are you just saying that you would be happy to see Choo lands here if his market totally craters and he gets less than half the guaranteed money that Ellsbury got?
 

mauf

Anderson Cooper x Mr. Rogers
Staff member
Dope
Gold Supporter
There isn't necessarily a hole to be filled for 2014, but there certainly is for the medium to long term. There just isn't that much OF talent in the system, especially at the corners--it's the one place where our deep depth is dangerously shallow. Seems to me that acquiring a solid corner OF who's locked up for several years is somewhere between desirable and mandatory. It doesn't have to be Choo, and it doesn't have to be now, but it needs to be somebody, and soon.


That's not necessarily true -- you can trade prospects for guys who are under club control either at below-market rates, or at near-market rates without long-term commitments. Whether this is better or worse than paying sticker price on a long-term deal is debatable. Personally, I wouldn't mind seeing the Sox trade an Iglesias-level prospect every now and then to avoid long-term commitments, particularly at positions (SP, LF, RF, 1B) where I think the odds of those deals working out well are exceptionally poor.
 

drbretto

guidence counselor
SoSH Member
Apr 10, 2009
9,347
Concord, NH
Taking the money out of it, A Choo/Gomes LF platoon would mitigate the lack in defense (at least at Fenway), would produce about a .400*/.520 line for the position (based on each player's splits last year combined: 681 PA, 161-H, 37-2B, 29-HR, 112-BB)  and the only talent lost would be a single draft pick.
 
I love platoons. Maximizing the position's value and offerring each other their own personal backups for pitching changes/days of rest. Gomes would also continue to be the off-the-bench lefty masher on days where he isn't starting, only becoming the default RHH option in place of Choo late in games and giving Choo a day of rest when a tough lefty starts.
 
But I love platoons because you take two cheaper players to essentially create one elite one. At Jason Werth money, this would be absurd. Get him for 4/60 or less and I love it. With Boras as an agent, I just don't see that happening. 
 
*Just going for quick numbers, I didn't bother including anything in the estimated OBP line except hits+walks/PA, so this number should be higher, but they're not going to be hitting against their optimal opponents all the time, so I'm sticking with close enough. Either way, the duo would be on base more than 40% of the time and slugging well over .500. To me, those numbers are worth $20m combined.
 

seantoo

toots his own horn award winner
Jul 16, 2005
1,308
Southern NH, from Watertown, MA
OilCanShotTupac said:
 
This is pretty much where I am.  I like Choo, always have, but with so few guys on the market, several teams in on Choo, and Boras, it's likely going to be a huge contract.  If it were just dollars, I wouldn't care, it's not my money and the Red Sox have plenty.  But there's the loss of the draft pick, which I don't like, and the likely length of the contract, which would make it an albatross at the end. 
 
Over the past few years FA market is getting smaller, in that there are fewer guys out there, and the contracts are getting way bigger. That makes it harder to count on plugging holes through free agency than it used to be, even for a wealthy team.  So draft picks are more important than they used to be IMO, whether the guys drafted become roster pieces or trade chips. 
 
I like Choo a lot, I think he could be a great fit, it's just likely to be too rich a price, especially with possible OF help on the way from the farm
Who are you refering to besides JBJ? Brentz? He's ranked #18 at Soxprospects.com and that is mainly based on the power he showed in 2011, 30 Hr's. He finished the year at high A and 19 Hr's however his contact rate and lack of plate discipline make it a question mark if he'll ever be a regular on a first division team. In 2 more years Shane, increasingly hurt, Victorino is gone too.
The Sox can gain up to 3 draft picks this year so losing 1 is not a big deal. They increasingly need a good hitting outfielder.
 

Bellhorn

Lumiere
SoSH Member
Aug 22, 2006
2,308
Brighton, MA
Savin Hillbilly said:
 
Is the bolded really true? I thought the current CW is that precisely because power and speed are the most likely skills to deteriorate in a player's 30s, players who start off with large amounts of them project better than players who don't.
 
 I think the point is more that plate discipline (or strike zone knowledge, judgment, whatever you want to call it) can improve in the 30s, while contact skills are all but certain to decline.  As you can see in this article, the contact and zone curves start moving in opposite directions after age 29, and eventually cross.  So the best candidates to age well are those who have had considerable early success based on contact skills, and who can compensate for the decline of these via improved plate discipline during their later years.  Baseball Prospectus used to highlight George Brett as an example of this phenomenon.
 

FanSinceBoggs

seantwo
SoSH Member
Jan 12, 2009
937
New York
I don't want the Red Sox to sign a QO free agent and sacrifice a pick that could fall between 20-25.  Nevertheless, if the Red Sox do sign a QO free agent, and assuming they aren't in on Cano, I would want the Red Sox to sign Choo.  According to Baseball Reference, Choo had the ninth best Offensive WAR (6.4) in MLB last season.  The Red Sox are loaded with pitching depth, but, as others have noted, they have less depth on offense.  If things go wrong with Bradley and Bogaerts or Ortiz gets old, the Red Sox will have a few issues.
 
In contrast, giving up a first round pick for Beltran is a move that I don't support.  Beltran is too old and isn't the offensive force (at this point of his career) that Choo is.
 
Edit: this isn't the right thread for it, but I can't resist saying, "Choo: Manny without the PEDs?"
 

FanSinceBoggs

seantwo
SoSH Member
Jan 12, 2009
937
New York
BCsMightyJoeYoung said:
Would/could the Sox sign both Napoli AND Choo? That would seem to imply a Demspter Dump? It would also be the end of one of Gomes , Nava or Carp. Considering Choo's ineptitude against LHs that would seem to indicate Carp.
 
If the Red Sox sign Choo, I would think (and hope) that they wouldn't bring back Drew or Napoli.  The Red Sox greatly value their draft picks.  If the Red Sox lose their first round pick, they will want to cash in on Drew and Napoli and turn them into compensation picks.
 
Moreover, if the Red Sox give approximately 100 million to Choo, I would expect them to go cheap at first base, i.e., maybe a Carp/Hassan platoon. 
 

mattymatty

lurker
May 6, 2007
68
Portland, Ore
If the Sox had re-signed Ellsbury, would that have taken them out of the Napoli and Drew chase? I don't think so. They can sign all three of those guys if they want to. They have the money and, as good as their farm system is, other than Bradley they don't have much in the way of outfielders coming up. There will a place for Choo just as there would have been one for Ellsbury. As for Choo, he could easily be hid in left field, but is platoon splits worry me. Even last year, his silly-good career year, he had a .612 OPS against left-handed pitchers. That doesn't make him a bad player (he had a 1.011 OPS against right-handed pitchers) but it does make him an easier player to reduce in crucial situations late in games. 
 

MakMan44

stole corsi's dream
SoSH Member
Aug 22, 2009
19,310
Bigpupp said:
Isn't not gaining a pick the same thing as losing a pick?
Well, there is a difference. It doesn't matter all that much this year as I'm 99% sure we're picking last in the first round anyway but if we had a mid 1st round pick next season, I'd assume the interest in Choo would be much lower. 
 
M

MentalDisabldLst

Guest
An update on Choo:
 
- As is being discussed in the Yankees forum, Boras is saying that the Yankees offered Choo 7/$140; when Choo declined, the Yankees signed Beltran.  Who knows whether that offer (and it being rejected) was fact or fiction; no one has an incentive to tell the truth to fans in this regard.
 
- The Rangers apparently "prefer Choo on a 5-year deal", per Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports
 
- Houston apparently has an offer on the table to Choo, perhaps in an attempt to not get relegated back to the NL after a disastrous first season in the AL.  Interesting analysis in Passan's article: Houston's first-rounder is protected, so they'd lose their 2nd-rounder if they signed him, but this would also reduce the budget for their draft class, meaning it would be harder for them to sign their #1-overall draft pick.
 
For all the talk about how many teams must be interested in him, there sure is a paucity of actual reports about actual offers.  I would have been shocked months ago if you'd told me he'd be unsigned into January, but as the top remaining free agent position player, he has the most leverage right now and that will only decrease the more he and his agent wait things out.
 

JFS7

lurker
Jul 21, 2005
177
 Shin-Soo Choo has deal with rangers.- 7 yrs heyman












Jon Daniels does not mess around. Choo fits perfectly at the top.
Fielder and Beltre get upgraded if RBI is a category.

Going from Moreland + Cruz + Kinsler to Fielder + Choo + Profar is
some kinda upgrade.
 

bombdiggz

Member
SoSH Member
The emerging details...
http://rangersblog.dallasnews.com/2013/12/source-texas-rangers-agree-to-contract-with-shin-soo-choo.html/
 
 
 
Financial details of the deal are still uncertain, but it is believed the deal will be for approximately $130 million, an average of about $18.6 million per season.
 
We've talked about the differences between state income tax many times on this board. So, I found this tidbit pretty interesting... 
 
 
 
The Rangers beat out the New York Yankees for Choo, by leveraging the value of the lack of state income tax in Texas. The approximate $130 million in Texas is worth about $143-145 million in New York.
 

HriniakPosterChild

Well-Known Member
Gold Supporter
SoSH Member
Jul 6, 2006
10,661
500 feet above Lake Sammammish
 
The Rangers beat out the New York Yankees for Choo, by leveraging the value of the lack of state income tax in Texas. The approximate $130 million in Texas is worth about $143-145 million in New York.
 
Then I hope he got a no-trade clause so that he can be sure of staying in Texas for the length of the deal.