Thursday, November 14, 2013
Hot Stove Talk: Shin Soo-Choo
By Todd Wills
Note: This is part of our Hot Stove Talk series, which profiles free agents and looks at possible trades the Texas Rangers could make this offseason.
Today's player: Shin-Soo Choo
The Rangers can go many ways to add another bat to their everyday lineup. One option is to pay big bucks, give up a draft pick and sign free-agent outfielder Shin-Soo Choo.
Choo, 31, would give the Rangers something they didn't have last year with David Murphy -- an outfielder that gets on base. Choo had an on-base percentage of .423 last season, which was fourth-best in baseball last season.
Choo won't bring a lot of power, at least going by last years' numbers when he had 21 home runs and 54 RBIs. He is an excellent defender and he's durable, playing in 154 games last season.
Why he makes sense: If the Rangers are looking for a hitter that sees pitchers, Choo is their guy. He averaged 4.23 pitches per plate appearance last season, second to Washington's Jayson Werth in the National League, who was at 4.24 (by comparison, the Rangers' leader last season was first baseman Mitch Moreland, who was 12th in the AL at 4.13).
Add in his durability and all-around play and Choo would certainly be an interesting addition.
Why he doesn't make sense: Choo is going to cost big money. After Robinson Cano, he's in a group of Jacoby Ellsbury and Brian McCann as the top offensive free agents available. Choo's overall production the last two seasons suggests he could be a player on the decline.
Bottom line: The Rangers should pass and keep their eye on the their prize -- McCann, who makes much more sense for the club.