(Kim Klement-US PRESSWIRE)

What Would You Say to Shin-Soo Choo?

From the department of “If you can’t get ‘em out, get ‘em here!”…

Yesterday, Ken Rosenthal and Jon Paul Morosi combined on a piece for MLB Buzz. The main point was the the San Francisco Giants have interest in Cleveland Indians closer Chris Perez. While Perez is by no means of interest to the Reds (or at least I highly suspect he isn’t), the other player they mentioned that the Indians could entertain in moving is Shin-Soo Choo.

Note: could

While trading either Perez or Choo would be a tough blow to the Tribe’s faint hopes of still contending this year, it’s safe to say it could create a hole for 2013 as well. But could this create an opportunity for the Reds? We know that Choo has feasted off Reds pitching this season (.407/.448/.926, 3 HR, 4 RBI) and for his MLB career (.351/.426/.713, 7 HR, 16 RBI in 24 games).

What could prove to be a significant hurdle is what the Indians would like in return. They are seeking a starting pitcher and a righty bat, areas Cleveland wanted to improve upon before their current 3-7 skid began. Any players the Indians would like in return would need to be MLB-ready, too. The Reds could help them with a right-handed bat as they are right-handed heavy, but if the Indians pressed for a starter to be added or just a starter alone, then I would imagine the Reds would bow out of any discussions.

Unless the Giants deal a starter to Cleveland in exchange for Perez.

With Choo, the Reds could tackle two issues: lead-off and the addition of a lefty bat. Cleveland’s offense seemed to have stepped it up a notch once Choo was inserted into the lead-off role. For this year, his slash from the lead-off spot is .317/.382/.546 with 10 HR and 25 RBI. That’s in 60 games.

His contract isn’t too shabby either as he’s on a one-year deal which has him making a total of $4.9MM. Next year, he is arbitration eligible. The impending issue wouldn’t so much be what he could garner in arbitration, but that Choo would be eligible for free agency after next season. And if think that’s not a big deal, Choo is a client of Scott Boras who loves for his guys to test the waters. There’s probably already a binder in the works.

The other issue would be that of right field which is Choo’s primary defensive position. I don’t think there would be too many that would be in favor of moving Jay Bruce over to left or even to center. Provided this were deal were to drop out of the sky, the more likely scenario would be Choo making the switch to left. He has played there in 58 games, but the last time was in 2009. And if you’re thinking center field, he’s only played there a total of 10 games and, like left, not since 2009.

Would be a nice addition, but at what cost? We’ve also “heard” that the Reds aren’t likely to make a “big” deal. Not sure of this would qualify as “big”, but it sure wouldn’t be small.

Tags: Baseball Cincinnati Reds Cleveland Indians MLB MLB Trade Rumors NL Central Reds Trade Rumors Shin-Soo Choo Trade Rumors

  • JD Rentz

    Choo would be a nice piece to have but not at the expense of his current position (certainly not RF). Feels like whomever the Reds need has to be a CF who can do what Drew Stubbs isn’t doing. I think we all know that is really the issue. If Stubbs was setting the table in leadoff consistently, I don’t think the Reds would even need a trade. Honestly, another LF when Ludwick in particular has been producing wouldn’t help. Heisey is a wild card in all this if he just fit the “leadoff” mold (he just doesn’t or hasn’t). When Stubbs gets on, the Reds win – plain and simple. Now, if we could just get him on base more often …

    • http://blogredmachine.com/ Steve O’Red

      As a tease, wait until you see the post I have coming out later today…

  • beeker

    I’m about to drop your jaw, Steve… I could get behind renting Choo, even as a RF. Bruce has been in a funk seemingly since mid-May, and a kick in his aft end might not be a bad thing.

    I know it isn’t going to happen at the stated asking price, nor should it. It is just too high. If it were just a righty bat, though, I’d give it serious thought.

    • http://blogredmachine.com/ Steve O’Red

      Sometimes I think we (and I’m including myself in this statement) we expect Bruce to produce offensive numbers that just might not be possible. Wanting 30 HR and 100 RBI is not beyond his grasp, but it’s the batting averge that creates the most flap. His June wasn’t all that bad (.253/.349/.505, 6 HR, 22 RBI in 26 starts), but not maybe as spectacular as we think his production should fall. Could it have been better? Sure.
      Walt loves defense and even though some say Bruce’s defense this year isn’t up to what we’ve seen in the past, Choo’s range in comps to AL RF are below average. Bruce is still above NL RF averages despite the appearance his D has slipped, but they are still above last year. Granted, defensive metrics aren’t near the “end all, be all” that some associate with offense.
      Personally, I think he’s pressing even more now in light of Votto’s absence. He’s as streaky as they come when he’s at the plate.

      • beeker

        I don’t expect Bruce to be Votto Jr, nor should he try to be. But wanting a little more than .246 BA and two years of regressing stats since 2010 is not unreasonable.

  • hobblin_manny