Considering the amount of payroll flexibility the organization is expected to have this winter and their need to add a reliable outfielder, the New York Mets are going to be connected to nearly every big-name free agent outfielder in the coming weeks. Andy Martino of the New York Daily News is hearing – reportedly from sources both around the league and within the team’s front office – that Shin-Soo Choo is “the guy the team likes”. Martino expects that the Mets will pursue Choo aggressively, but the team won’t get into a bidding war for the Scott Boras client’s services.
Choo has spent the 2013 season with the Cincinnati Reds, following a trade to the team last winter from the Cleveland Indians. He’s batted .291/.425/.472 in 645 PA on the year – adding 20 HR, 17 SB, and 97 BB. All marks well above his career averages.
Should the Mets end up landing Choo, the plan reportedly will be to move him back to right field. Officials within the organization appear confident that Juan Lagares can handle center field, allowing the team to focus on improving in the corners. Martino relays that Eric Young still figures into the team’s plans, but they appear to like him more in a fourth outfielder role rather than with a starting role.
Choo might be an ideal option for the Mets – given his on base abilities and the defense he brings to the table – but it’s unclear how pricey he might get on the open market. He’ll be coming off a career year at the plate and at 31 years of age should still have enough in the tank to hold up for a few more seasons. Some have speculated that he could be looking at a deal in the neighborhood of four years, $45 Million. Choo is earning just over $7 Million this season (Cincinnati’s benefited from Cleveland paying almost half of that amount) and he’s almost assuredly looking at a raise with his next deal.