Now ponder this question. Can the Reds actually re-sign Choo?
Choo is represented by Scott Boras, a name that still rings loud and clear among MLB GMs.
Boras is notorious for having his clients test the free agent waters. They may sign late (Michael Bourn and Kyle Lohse as a couple of recent examples even though Lohse was caught up in the qualifying offer deal), but he gets his players some darn good deals. The issue in coaxing Choo to stay in the Queen City might not so much center around the dollars, although the Reds once again appear they will have a payroll in excess of $100M, but the number of years Boras may request for his client.
Choo is currently on a one-year, $7.38M deal. I estimate that Boras could be looking for a minimum of four years with $10M per year as a starting point. Wouldn’t be surprised if $10M went to $12M either. Four years, $40M-$48M.
Again, I refer to Bourn. After last season, the chatter was that Boras was seeking a five-year, $100M deal for Bourn. While no one was believing Bourn was worth the money, Boras manged to broker a deal with the Cleveland Indians. Terms of that deal: four years, $48 million plus a vesting option for a fifth year at $12M. According to Cot’s Contracts, the vesting option kicks in if Bourn has 550 PAs in 2016.
Didn’t get the big bucks (still got a nice haul), but got the years in a manner of speaking with that vesting option.
Choo is 31. Bourn will be 31 in December.
There are obvious differences in the games of Bourn and Choo, but you can bet your bottom dollar that Boras will certainly use the Bourn deal as a point of reference with any team wanting Choo’s services, including the Reds, for the 2014 season and beyond.