Cubs interested in Shin-Soo Choo

Cubs interested in Shin-Soo Choo


We've seen a couple of reports stream about the Chicago Cubs and Shin-Soo Choo. Patrick Mooney is saying that the Cubs are likely to pursue the veteran outfielder in the offseason:

The Cubs will be looking to add a left-handed hitter and upgrade their team's on-base percentage this winter, issues that could be simultaneously addressed by signing Shin-Soo Choo.  The Cubs are expected to "make a run" at signing Choo in the offseason, industry sources tell CSNChicago.com's Patrick Mooney.

-MLBTR

A few things;

Choo will be on the wrong side of 30 when he signs his next contract. He has valuable secondary skills that should allow him to hold his value a bit longer but this signing, should it happen, would be an interesting move by an organization that is in the midst of a rebuild.

The Cubs do not have a player on the roster with Choo's skill set and it's debateable whether they have a player like Choo in the organization at all. He gets on base a lot, predominantly with the HBP but he also draws his fair share of walks. Choo walks 11.9% of the time and this year he's upped that rate to 14.6%.

Choo also supplies occasional power and has decent bat to ball skills (career slash line of  .288/.387/.464). He's miscast as a centerfielder but Choo can be a fine defensive rightfielder on a contending team.

It's possible that the Cubs could be trying to sign Choo in order to trade him at next year's deadline. We've seen teams find themselves in need of an outfielder a lot this year and Choo would be a valuable commodity at the deadline for a team in need.

This could also be a Jayson Werth type signing. It is possible that the Cubs may want to hold on to Choo as he would be the lone veteran on a young, hopefully up and coming club. A lot of the leadership stuff is dismissed by certain members of the baseball blogging community at large (love for the leadership does go over the top from time to time) but I do think it's important to have a veteran presence on a young team.

Chicago will be a very young team heading into next year. If they sign Choo, it might be for keeps.

Filed under: Chicago Cubs

Tags: Baseball, choo, Cubs, MLB, rumors

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  • Whoo Knoo?

  • Choo is the one significant FA who is a perfect fit for the Cubs, IMO. His skillset is exactly what they need, and he plays a position they need. I think there's an excellent chance the Cubs will be the highest bidder for his services.

    There's less of a need for the Cubs to sign guys for other positions. Starting pitching is pretty well covered, with Samardzija, Wood, Jackson, plus guys like Arrieta, Rusin, Villanueva, Grimm--and possibly Hendricks, Cabrera and Vizcaino later in the season.

    They have holes at 2B and 3B, but Baez and Bryant are likely less than a year away, and they have plenty more candidates behind those guys who are also close, in Alcantara, Olt, Villanueva, etc.

    The bullpen has been ugly the last couple of years, but the Cubs also have some guys who are probably ready now (Schlitter and Lim), plus others who will be soon (Rosscup, Rivero, and possibly a wildcards like Hatley, Batista, Zych, Dayan Diaz, etc.). Strop and Parker have been pretty convincing recently as late inning guys, and guys like Cabrera and Dolis will be out of options.

    They may add a veteran middle reliever or even a set up guy, but I don't see the Cubs spending big on any relievers when they still have a losing team--especially when there are a lot of in-house guys close to the bigs who have nice arms.

    Which means that the only likely place for them to invest substantial FA dollars would be in a corner OFer, and Choo is the obvious choice, in terms of having a skill set that perfectly fits the club's needs.

    They've shown last year with the Jackson signing that they are not adverse to spending $$$ when necessary to bring in a piece who can help the team for several years and stabilize a club weakness.

    Choo has been very consistent as a hitter in his MLB career, only once posting a sub-800 OPS (in an injury season). I don't see any reason to expect a sharp dropoff--it's not like he relies on speed as a primary part of his game. He will be in decline, but there's no reason to expect him to go off a cliff.

    I think it's reasonable to expect an 800+ OPS over the next three seasons or so, with a dropoff into the mid-700's perhaps in the final year of the contract. As a fan, I could live with that.

    Keep in mind that many of the young guys who are close (Baez, Bryant; perhaps even Olt if he pans out) are big power guys. Having a guy like Choo getting on base ahead of guys like that could be huge.

    My guess is that Choo will get a contract in the 4 year/60-70 mil range. That would be for his age 31-34 seasons. IMO, it's a worthwhile investment/gamble for the Cubs, and I expect them to go after him aggressively.

  • In reply to SVAZCUB:

    Comment of the young blog life. Kudos.

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