Friday, May 3, 2013
Choo's free agent year
By Jason A. Churchill
Shin-Soo Choo is scheduled to hit the free agent market at the end of the 2013 season and with Scott Boras serving as his representation, an extension during the year shouldn't be expected any more than one might assume a cure for the zombies in The Walking Dead. Choo is making a case, however, to be the top free agent bat next offseason, despite a former MVP among the available hitters.
Mike Napoli, Jacoby Ellsbury, Justin Morneau and Kendrys Morales are also set to hit free agency, but probably pale in comparison to Choo overall. Robinson Cano is the biggest name on the free agent list, but with his recent change in agents -- from the Boras, Corp. to CAA -- there's likely a better chance something gets done between the player and the New York Yankees before November.
Choo, 31 in July, had two more hits Friday and takes a .330/.467/.541 triple-slash into Saturday's tilt at Wrigley Field.
Choo could be a fit for a number of clubs, including the usual suspects in the Yankees, Red Sox, Dodgers and Rangers. The Mets need outfield help, too, and with their financial situation having cleared up recently they are expected to have the flexibility to be active in free agency.
ESPN.com's Jayson Stark wrote Friday that Choo has been a terrific get for the Reds:
Choo a big win for Reds
"Shin-Soo Choo might be just passing through Cincinnati on his way to free agency. And he might not remind you of Kenneth Griffey Jr. when he patrols center field. But what a perfect fit this guy was for a lineup whose leadoff hitters had the worst on-base percentage in baseball last season (.254). Choo has churned out a .462 OBP out of the leadoff hole so far. And if he keeps that up, it would be the second highest by any leadoff man in the expansion era, trailing only Wade Boggs (.476) in 1988. "Shin-Soo Choo," said one NL exec, "is a massive difference-maker."