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shin-soo chooIt’s a hair early to start fixating on offseason acquisition possibilities, so I don’t want to go too far down this rabbit hole just yet …

But Patrick Mooney dropped a very interesting report last night, citing industry sources who expect the Cubs to pursue free agent outfielder Shin-Soo Choo this offseason. The 31-year-old lefty has been playing center field for the Reds, but is thought to be more of a corner outfield type. The Cubs will have an obvious opening in left field next year, and Choo would certainly offer a much needed OBP boost at the top of the order. For his career, Choo is a .288/.387/.464 hitter.

There are some injury concerns with Choo, who has missed time on and off over the past several seasons, but he has played at least 144 games in all but one of the last five seasons (assuming he plays in a few more games this year). His platoon splits are also a concern, as he rocks righties, but struggles quite a bit against lefties. As the Cubs of late have shown, however, they are not averse to working a platoon to maximize the performance of each component. How much you pay the left-handed side of an outfield platoon, however, remains a big question.

If the Cubs are to pursue Choo, you’ll have to remember the protect draft pick issue I wrote about last week. I expect that the Reds will make Choo a qualifying offer (one year, $14ish million), which he will reject. From there, he will be tied to draft pick compensation, and the team signing him will lose its first round pick, unless their pick is in the first 10 in the Draft. If the Cubs “fall” in the 11th spot in the standings, I really don’t think you’ll see them willing to give up a first rounder to sign Choo. So, if you want to see the Cubs go after him this Winter, you’ve kind of got to pull for them to lose enough to stay within the worst 10 records in baseball this year. It’s an ugly business, but it’s true.

Choo is a Scott Boras client, and he’ll be looking for huge money in his one big shot at free agency. It’s very difficult to project where he’ll land, but it’s worth noting that quality outfielders Michael Bourn and Nick Swisher – each of whom was tied to draft pick compensation – got just 4/$48 million and 4/$56 million, respectively, last year. It was a better outfield class in free agency, though, so Choo might do a little bit better.

Although some have said the Cubs will punt on 2014, as they did in 2012 and 2013 in service of rebuilding (I’m not quite sure I’d call 2013 punting, but we’re in the ballpark), I have never really believed that would prove to be the case. I’ve always said I expect to see a roster that, on paper, looks like a .500 team going into the season in 2014, and I still expect that to be the case. The realities associated with keeping a fan base active and interested – there are financial reasons to get asses in the seats, and those financial reasons, in turn, help fuel the baseball operations down the road – are going to be too strong in a market like Chicago for the Cubs to field another stinker in 2014. I’m not saying I agree with it or like it, but I will say that I trust this front office enough to know that, while they may make a move or two designed to improve in the short-term, they will not do so in a way that materially harms the long-term vision. In other words, we might see a splash signing or trade (or two), which could help field a better – but still not obviously playoff-contending – team in 2014, but I don’t think we’re going to see moves that make us think they’ve abandoned the rebuilding program.

  • Losing makes u better 62-100 > 75-87

    Shin soo choo on 3yr deal sure anything more no thanks. He’s going to be 32 next season. You don’t pay for declining performance which he will most likely see in the next few yrs

  • John (ibcnu2222)

    Wouldn’t ellsbury be a better choice?

    • Kyle

      Ellsbury is probably the No. 2 free agent on the market at this point, and could move up to No. 1 if Cano ever extends. He’s not going to come at a reasonable deal. Someone will spaz out and give him something insane.

      • Jay

        Cubs need to stay far away from Ellsbury. And ok, if you stick Choo in LF, what do you do with Junior Lake next year? Platoon him in RF and LF alongside Choo and Schierholz? CF is where we really have a hole to fill, at least for now.

        • willis

          Play Lake in CF I would guess. If this actually were to happen and Lake continues to play well. Two huge maybes.

        • JonnyRed

          Why do we need to stay away from Ellsbury? I think he is exactly what we need. Everyone points to 2015 as the year we’ll see some real progress, but to do that I think the Cubs need to add 2-3 key veterans to the prospect mix. Otherwise we are looking at 2017 before we realistically will have a contender. The Cubs are a big market team and should invest in a player like Ellsbury who obviously fits the Theo mold and provides us with a leadoff hitter with speed. What am I missing here?

    • ETS

      I think he makes more sense, but who knows what he ultimately will cost. Kyle made a good point yesterday that Ellsbury is in a weak class and will probably cost alot more because of it.

      • ETS

        lol ninja’d by kyle.

  • Rich

    Ellsbury I think is more likely..

  • RD

    I’m in favor of Ellsbury as well. Younger, more speed, better against lefties, and possesses better leadership/post season experience which will be much needed given the recent loss of Soriano, DeJesus, and Garza.

  • MightyBear

    I’d rather see Ellsbury.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      What if it’s Choo at 4/$48M or Ellsbury at 6/$90M?

      • MichiganGoat

        Choo

        • MightyBear

          Ellsbury

          • MichiganGoat

            Tidrow – FTW

            • Rob

              Much rather have Choo at 4/$48 than Ellsbury at 6/$90. A big part of Jacoby’s game is speed (more than Choo, though Choo is not slow), and he arguably has a more checkered injury history than Choo. I compare Choo to Edwin and Jacoby to Anibal Sanchez – they might talk to Jacoby, but they will have a set price that will get exceeded by someone else, and try and sign the more reasonable Choo. I would take a career .387 OBP – his eye for the strike zone should not decline as much at ages 32, 33, 34 as, for example, running speed.

              • chirogerg

                but Jacoby can play center…

                • http://www.hookersorcake.com Hookers or Cake

                  Choo’s played 119 games at center this year. Can’t say how well. 3 errors. Probably best suited for LF.

                  • On The Farm

                    Well if you have Choo, Lake, and one of Sweeney/Bogie, then you have three guys that can play CF so if you have to do a bit of a rotation so be it. Also Choo has a pretty good arm, whereas Jacoby… Not so much.

                  • bbmoney

                    Choo can play center in the same sense that Alfonso Soriano can play center. Which is mostly to say, not well.

                • Danny Ballgame

                  I want to see Lake in CF for a full season. If he can learn to track balls better, he could be above average.

        • DarthHater

          gesundheit

        • Eternal Pessimist

          Bless you.

          • On The Farm

            He says four hours after Darth Hater haha

            • DarthHater

              Now, now. It’s never too late to be polite when somebody sneezes.

      • Cubbie Blues

        I don’t think Choo will be anywhere around 4/$48M. I see him going for more years and money than that. I hope I am wrong and we can land him for that, but I just have the feeling that a GM is going to go crazy on him.

        • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

          Definitely possible. I was just trying to underscore that it’s not really a “Choo or Ellsbury” question – it’s a which guy at which price question.

          • cub2014

            choo or ellsbury gives you your left handed
            leadoff hitter that the cubs must have. then
            they need a cheap power hitter to play a corner
            OF for a couple years. Add a top of the line
            starter and the base is set for the next 5 years.

      • cubsin

        Neither.

        • Mr. Mac

          Agreed. I do not see the value in a signing like this.

      • JB88

        I think it is really going to depend for me on whether both or neither is tied to draft pick compensation. Assuming both are, I’d probably take Choo at shorter years and less dollars. Ellsbury’s injury history scares me quite a bit.

      • Ben

        The other factor is that we don’t have a lot of CF prospects that give me a warm and fuzzy. Almora is the only guy. We have Soler, Bryant (possibly), and others that could be good corner OF (which is what Choo is). For that reason, I would go Ellsbury.

      • http://deepcenterfield.blogspot.com Jason Powers

        Then we pick up Beltran at 2/28, so we have a switch hitter that kills in Wrigley Field.
        Then 2014 and 2015, our offense looks like an offense, and maybe we catch some lighting else where. But, that limits us too – to about a 90M budget level.

      • Ralph

        I have forgotten how much Bourne and Swisher both make per year. It just seems insane to me. I would say that I’d rather have Choo than Bourne or Swisher though… but a $14 million salary for a guy who doesn’t hit lefties well and is turning 32 next year??? Off the top of my head the other day, I really thought Choo was more of a $10 per year guy, but I guess with the market the way it is and Boras as his agent, somebody might pay every bit of $14 per year for him in free agency.

  • MichiganGoat

    The winter will be all about Choo vs Ellbury – should make for a fun hot stove season.

    • JulioZuleta

      I think the Winter is going to be more about trades than the last few.

  • cubzfan23

    Brett, so you don’t see the cubs making a run at Cano.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      No, I do not. Long-term, infield isn’t the right upgradable spot for the Cubs – especially for the kind of money/length Cano is going to get.

      • Hansman1982

        As the only premier player in FA this winter, the bidding on Cano is going to get crazy, quick.

  • http://deepcenterfield.blogspot.com Jason Powers

    Paying top dollar for a guy with platoon splits like Shoo is rather underwhelming. Sure, you can platoon him, but what happens if the guy you are projecting to platoon him with, is injured? (Yes, injuries happen – DeJesus, Sweeney, Bogie – case in point.)

    I do like Shin-Soo Choo, but he’ll get more than Bourn/Swisher if by OBP alone. He’s 31-32 by next July. So he’ll be 37 (he’ll get a 5 year deal.) He’s having his best season – isn’t that always the case in the walk year??? – so .416 is not what he’ll do in Wrigley, IMO.

    He’s about 70% of the player against lefties, oh, and here’s a sample list of lefties in the NL to play him around:

    1) Clayton Kershaw*
    2) Hyun-jin Ryu*
    3) Pat Corbin*
    4) Tyler Skaggs*
    4) Francisco Liriano*
    5) Jeff Locke
    6) Wandy Rodriguez
    7) Tony Cingrani*
    8) Aroldis Chapman*
    9) Cliff Lee*
    10) Cole Hamels*
    11) John Lannan
    12) Gio Gonzalez*
    13) Ross Ditwiler
    14) Wade Miley*
    15) Madison Bumgarner*
    16) Mike Minor*
    17) Alex Wood** (could be ATL SP in future)

    LA, AZ, Pittsburgh, Cincinnati, Washington, Philadelphia, ATL have good lefties.

    Over his career, Shoo hits the finesse pitchers best. Significantly better than Power pitchers.
    vs. Power .253 .375 .419
    vs. avg.P/F .297 .392 .443
    vs. Finesse .304 .391 .511

    So, while I can understand the push for an OBP, this guy has some real holes for the 75/80 he’ll likely get.

    Just for comparison sake check out Ellsbury vs. pitcher types:
    vs. Power .284 .360 .415
    vs. avg.P/F .290 .344 .434
    vs. Finesse .312 .353 .459

    See THE difference? Less variation….

    I did this in 10 minutes….and could make a much more detailed argument that defends what I just found. If you are going to spend 70-75 million to get a platoon guy that is older, why not spend 10 mil more for a guy that has better likelihood not to be a platoon guy? (Both come with risk factors on injury, and Ellsbury is NOT Juan Pierre, for the down graders of his speed as his sole weapon…)

    • Kyle

      Righties still make up a large majority of MLB pitchers. It’d be more of a problem if he couldn’t hit righties.

      • http://deepcenterfield.blogspot.com Jason Powers

        Yes, I understand that. But having less deficiencies, not more, is what you want in a top tier player.

        Choo has a glaring hole, he’s a platoon guy. (You willing to put the Cubs limited resources in 2014 to use on a platoon guy?)

        Many of those lefties are under 26, so they are still getting adjusted, and will get a bit better.

        Platoon types typically only get more skewed with age…So what production you lose now, will only get worse.

        • Kyle

          And when you find that perfect player, you get outbid by the Dodgers and Yankees. So we’re moving on to the flawed ones.

          • http://deepcenterfield.blogspot.com Jason Powers

            LA does not need a CF, now do they? (Maybe they do, since Kemp spends more on the LA strip than on the field.)

            NY – maybe they do outspend us. Seems they have a few holes to shore up, and can they ignore their minor leagues yet again…1st round pick?

            If we get neither guy, I won’t be mad.

            But if we could have swung a deal for Ells for a similar rate, to me, the evidence weighs to Ellsbury favor. And don’t we use evidence to support our claims?

            But alas, you are one for playing both sides of the fence, Kyle. I can too.

        • Hansman1982

          Even though he does worse against LHP, his career OBP against Lefties is still pretty good and would be acceptable in the Leadoff spot.

        • tbone

          While he doesn’t hit lefties well at all he does still manage to get on base against them, so he’s not an absolute out against them

          • tbone

            Hansman, you beat me too it. I’m too slow on the draw…. story of my life.

      • http://deepcenterfield.blogspot.com Jason Powers

        And as if I needed more evidence, here’s Choo versus Ellsbury defensively in CF: Choo is dead last this season among those qualifiers. Ellsbury is top 5, in a harder home park to play CF in – weird dimensions, bigger, RF alley, etc.

        http://www.fangraphs.com/leaders.aspx?pos=cf&stats=fld&lg=all&qual=y&type=1&season=2013&month=0&season1=2013&ind=0&team=0&rost=0&age=0&filter=&players=0&sort=24,d

        • Kyle

          Was anybody disagreeing that Ellsbury > Choo?

          Choo shouldn’t be playing CF for us (or anyone else).

          • http://deepcenterfield.blogspot.com Jason Powers

            No, but since we are putting out the name Choo, we should look at other comparable players in the similar situation, now shouldn’t we?

            The merits of Choo is he’s great if you see 135 RH pitchers a season, and no one brings in a lefty to face him in a crucial situation. And we keep him for 3 years, because after 35, his platoon split will widen from seeing less and less lefty pitching, quite on purpose, mind you, and will try to move him on after backloading his contract.

            Of course, our revenue streams will be silly, and Almora, Soler, Bryant OF will be ready to rule the majors, so who will care by then?

            I will be happy to then convert Choo to a powerful pinch hitter that sees only the pitchers he can put a toe tag on…

            I suppose that is another way to look at it.

            • Kyle

              You are severely underestimated how often he bats against RH pitching.

              • http://deepcenterfield.blogspot.com Jason Powers

                2012 – 104 games versus RH starter. 51 versus LH starter ( 135 games total versus a RH pitcher of any sort. And I didn’t even look that up until you mentioned it..boy, you are off your game today.)

                Batted 444 times against RH, 242 against LH, over a full season of 162 games, his has 57 full games of ABs against lefties which jives with his starts…

                2011: 62 games against RH starter, 23 LH starter. His splits were actually pretty decent…

                2010 – 42 LH starter, 102 RH starter which would project, if he played everyday (unwise) to 115 RH starters.

                You are severely underestimated LH pitching…as a factor.

                • Kyle

                  And he’s been quite valuable in total with those ratios. So why wouldn’t he continue to be?

                  • hansman1982

                    I think the word “platoon” has become overused along with “flip candidate”.

                    • http://deepcenterfield.blogspot.com Jason Powers

                      [img]http://imagecache6.allposters.com/LRG/63/6332/M4L7100Z.jpg[/img]

                • http://www.hookersorcake.com Hookers or Cake

                  Hmmm interesting stuff. I was leaning Choo. Only because he should be cheaper and his OBP is insane (ours is bad)
                  I’m assuming someone pays Ellsbury way too much.

                  And really with Rizzo, Schietholtz and maybe Sweeney. I’d be ok with a righty like Werth or even that jackass with the hisocks from the Astros/D-backs.

                  We need to add some kinda bat in the OF this offseason.

                  • Danny Ballgame

                    Werth or Corey Hart on a 1 year deal + cheap option year. That makes sense to me

                    • Danny Ballgame

                      I meant Pence or Hart

  • jj

    Ellsbury will be 30 and has had an OPS+ above 100 only 3 times in 7 seasons (2007, 2011, 2013). In 2012/2013 combined, Ellsbury is a .288/.341/.405, which translates to an OPS+ of 102 over that span. This seems like the high mark to expect for the first two seasons of a new contract, then gradual decline — even if he is healthy. The unusual power display in 2011 has not resurfaced and appears unlikely to recur. All considered, I cannot understand why anyone would sign him to a contract of more than 3/$30.

  • tbone

    Choo is a stud. Very underrated in my opinion and I would love to see him in a Cubs uni. He fits the bill of a high OBP guy with an excellent approach. Versatile in that he can play all 3 outfield positions. I think very highly of his game and wouldn’t be at all surprised if the FO strongly covets him as well. Expect them to go hard after him.

  • Jon

    [img]http://24.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_lzdbfzBQ661qb1yd0o1_500.jpg[/img]

    • DarthHater

      Send him that with a photo of Theo inside and he’ll have to sign with the Cubs. :-D

      • Jon

        Maybe I’m just an idiot, but every single time the name of Shin-Soo Choo comes up I flash back to that Simpsons episode, that has to be close to 20 years ago.

  • North Side Irish

    Jesse Rogers ‏@ESPNChiCubs 31s
    David DeJesus was claimed by Tampa Bay, according to a source.

    • ssckelley

      Wow, that means the Pirates passed on him.

      • http://www.gravatar.com/avatar/653cc0c5f0eded621ab13b4f631de7da.png Cizzle

        As did the Braves. You’d think DDJ would be a perfect fill-in for Heyward, even though there’s no chance the Nationals give him away within their division.

  • Andrew

    What about Beltran for a corner OF?

    • http://deepcenterfield.blogspot.com Jason Powers

      That’s a prospect worth mentioning…

      • willis

        I’d love to see that.

    • Rizzofanclub

      Nobody mentions Beltran b/c he is going to sign with a team that has a higher chance than the Cubs on making the playoffs. I see him in a AL East uniform next year.

      • JB88

        That’s a nice thought, but Beltran has ALWAYS signed where he could get the most money. There’s no reason not to think that will be the case again this offseason.

  • Werner

    Curious about why there is no talk about Beltran? Is it because he’s too old? Wrong position? Bad Cardinal cooties?

    • Werner

      Jinx. I owe you a Coke, Andrew.

    • Cubbie Blues

      It’s because he was born in 1977.

  • CM

    Anyone else see the FO trying to parlay Lake’s time up into a trade in the offseason?

    • Blublud

      No, that would be just dumb honestly. If you have a very serviceable, and possibly above average OF for the cheap(league minimum) and a team that apparently doesn’t have nearly as much money as we thought they did, what point would it serve to trade him?

      • CM

        Well, I would say if his value was artificially high and you could package him with someone else, it might bring back a nice piece. Especially given the fact that the outfield situation looks to be potentially crowded in the coming years.

        • Scotti

          Potentially crowded with guys who are in A-ball does not really mean potentially crowded.

          • http://www.bleachernation.com Luke

            You can find plenty of outfield candidates above A ball. Many of them project more as fourth outfielders or platoon guys, but they are still prospects.

            Vitters, Lake, Szczur, Ha, and Andreoli aren’t a bad bunch to have in Double A or higher.

  • Werner

    OK. But don’t we want a stopgap until 2016 or later? And wouldn’t his age cut down on price?

  • Eric

    I honestly see this FO making a respectable run for both Choo and Ellsbury.

  • Dustin S

    The Cubs didn’t 100% punt in 2013, but they also went in not realistically aiming to win 90 either. It was more of a flyer where they did give themselves a chance to maybe sneak into a wild card. But it was going to take a whole lot of players overperforming, many career years, etc. They got lucky quite a few players did overperform and they still were out of it early. It wasn’t close to a situation like the Angels or Nats who built a team they expected to win 90+ this season. So putting the 2013 Cubs going into this season near that category is really overestimating the way the team was built heading into the season. They likely knew they had maybe a ~20% chance of shocking everyone and making the playoffs going in and it was more of a 80% punt. As fans we can’t complain too much though about that approach. This time last year I figured 2013 would have been a complete punt and that they would have gone into into this year with a roster with no chance. Concerns about ticket sales probably played into that a bit though too.

    • http://www.hookersorcake.com Hookers or Cake

      I dunno who they coulda added without overpaying. 3B and catcher did well. Schierholtz was a genius sign. No one liked that signing in the offseason. The starters did well. Camp and Marmol tanked after good second halves last year. Fuki blew up. Maybe they coulda added a bullpen arm?

      Funny how the Cubs “got lucky” with players “over performing” Stewart, Fuki, Camp, Marmol, Castro, and Barney all unlucky?

  • http://vdcinc.biz 70′scub

    I rather have DD next 1.5 years, over both these options. Choo bad defense can’t hit lefties, Ells to many years not durable, likely not durable back half of contract when the Cub young talent arrives!

    • bbmoney

      I’d easily rather have either of them than DDJ. I guess contracts could skew that, but as much as I like DDJ, he’s not an impact guy. Choo and Ellsbury both have potential to be for at least the next couple of years.

      Both have warts and aren’t perfect. But it’s not like DDJ killed lefties either or played very good defense in center, or was completely healthy this year.

    • cub2014

      Sounds like DD probably will be back and on
      the cheap. So we should get both.
      OF next year: Lake (Choo or Ellsbury) Schierholtz
      Dejesus (Sweeney or Vitters or a power guy
      like Pence or Hart) Much improved I would say.

    • http://www.hookersorcake.com Hookers or Cake

      Career splits vs lefties
      Choo – 670 OPS
      DDJ – 662 OPS
      J Ells – 739 OPS

      Versus Righties
      Choo – 932 OPS
      DDJ – 814 OPS
      J Ells – 831OPS

      • On The Farm

        .402, .438, ..459. These are the OPS for DeJesus 2013, 2012, and 2011 seasons vs. lefties, its definitely trending downward. Just saying it’s nice to use career numbers, but looking at trends (using a 2.75 year sample size seems reasonable) DeJesus isn’t the hitter he was in 2010 or even 2009..

  • Paul

    Unless they bring in another couple of impact free agents, what’s the point of signing Choo? So they can trade him for A ball prospects?

    • bbmoney

      To try to win in 2014 and 2015 and beyond. I know others are writing 2014 off already. I’m on record as not doing that before 2013 even ends.

      Talent is going to start coming up from the minors. The FA class isn’t great, but it doesn’t mean the Cubs can’t improve. The bullpen, Castro and to a lesser extent Rizzo, can’t be much worse. 2014 ain’t a lost cause just yet.

      • hansman1982

        Anyone who is already writing off 2014 is a fool.

        • bbmoney

          That’s my thought. It always seems like a lot of people are already calling it though.

          • Blublud

            Cubd will be above .500 in 2014. I’m calling it now.

            • jh03

              Are you drunk, man? haha. You’re struggling today!

              • Blublud

                No. I’m in the tail end of an airplane charting a repair, with grease all over everything. With my new job in Tennessee, I don’t have the luxury of sitting behind a computer all day.

                • jh03

                  Wow.. that’s some serious dedication to BN haha.

      • Paul

        I’m not writing off 2014, but the front office may be. How long do we give these guys if 2014 is another 90+ loss season? We have several good prospects in A ball and a few in AA. I went to the Iowa Cubs game in New Orleans this week and the cupboard is bare in AAA. Typically only about 10% of your top prospects become legitimate stars in the majors and maybe 25% are good to above average starters. With the ‘player control’ issue always thrown out there, we are looking at late 2015 or 2016 before the majority of these guys are brought up to even see if they have the marbles to make it in the show.

  • Paul

    Are we certain that Theo’s last name isn’t really Huxtable?

  • David

    Castro isn’t the only shortstop to take a dive this year… Here’s the line for Elvis Andrus (Tex):

    2012 .286/ .349/ .378
    2013: .255/ .319/ .306

    Hmmm, didn’t he sign a long term deal before 2013? Just as Castro did, just like Rizzo, just like players xyz???!!!! I’m sure there are a few more examples.

    • Jed Jam Band

      The difference is that Castro’s contract is far less expensive than that of Andrus. I don’t know what Castro will ultimately turn out to be, but I know that our best best is to stop harassing him.

  • Scotti

    The young guys coming up SHOULD come up to a team that knows, by and large, how to have a “Cub AB” by the book. Bringing up Baez, Bryant and Soler then expecting THEM to be the models would be suicide. Signing Choo (4 years and a vesting option, if necessary) AND Beltran (2 years with a vesting option, if necessary) wouldn’t block anyone and it would give you more bang for the same bucks that Ellsbury cost. Playing Lake in between two guys who have played lots of center could only help his development.

    Having two guys who know how to have a professional AB could only help Lake, Rizzo, Castillo, Baez, etc. Then as the other young hopefuls come up, they see the Cub Way™ modeled before their eyes instead of having it rest on their shoulders.

    • JB88

      This is an idea I could fully get behind. The only real hiccup is what to do with Schierholtz.

      • Scotti

        Sell high. I think he’ll continue to be nearly as productive but he doesn’t quite offer the type of BB/K you want guys trying to emulate. He has a good amount of value and you should get a decent piece for him.

  • marc

    I would much rather overspend on beltran give him 18 mil for two years if that what it takes. I dont think he will be subject to draft pick compensation. I think he would a much better fit than choo or elsbury based on the picks, years. I wold just rather overpay a few mil for beltran than lose even a second round pick and gurantee years for two flawed players like choo and elsbury. They have their strengths obviously, but we arent talking two perrenial allstars

    • JB88

      I think Beltran probably gets more than $18M over two years (and if you meant $18M/year, I’d be surprised by that too). He’s on a 2 yr/26M contract. If you could land him for that, I’d be okay with it.

      • marc

        I think in this fa class someone gives him 30/2… my idea is give him up to 36/2 if that’s what it takes to get him in Chicago

      • Scotti

        He signed his current contact coming off a .910 OPS going into his 35/36 years. He’s older and not performing as well. He’ll get less.

        • marc

          was it under the current CBA? the draft pick could make him mode desireable

          • Scotti

            The lack of draft pick compensation doesn’t make him any younger. If he was worth that kind of money per season, the Cards would just qualify him.

        • JB88

          His current OPS is .865. It isn’t that far off the pace. And he’s been healthy for 3 consecutive years now. And the market is weaker than it was 2 years ago. Sure he’s older and yes he isn’t performing quite as well, but I think there are a number of market factors that might suggest the same or a similar contract.

          • Scotti

            The odds of a 35/36-y/o guy falling off the face of the Earth are much smaller than a 37/38-y/o guy falling off the face of the Earth. Pre-steroid ages would say that a 37/38-y/o guy is a huge risk (and, especially if this is a guy’s final contract, you should make baseball decisions based on pre-steroid age rates).

            That isn’t to say I wouldn’t go for him. As I said above, I’d even include a binding, vesting option for a third year to sweeten the deal (if he vested he’d still be good enough to move). But not at his 35/36-y/o rate that he got from a 154 OPS+ in 2011 (132 for the last two years combined). Age matters.

            Again, the Cardinals would offer him a qualifying offer if he was that close to his old contract. Then, all of a sudden, the draft pick compensation disappears and he loses some of that market value.

  • auggie55

    Like it was mentioned earlier, Beltran will sign with a team that has a chance to win next season – not with the Cubs. I lean towards the Cubs signing Choo.

    • JB88

      I don’t understand why multiple people are making this claim like it is somehow gospel. There is virtually NO basis in fact for this idea.

      In 2004, Beltran’s first year of FA, he left the Astros who the prior year were 92-70 for the New York Mets, coming off a 71-91 record. Then he gets traded to the Giants, the year after they win the WS, to leave for St. Louis, who had just lost Pujols and were seen as a longshot to make the playoffs in 2012. This guy is and has always been about making as much money as possible (there’s nothing wrong with that, but it doesn’t support the notion that he is going to take less money to go to a team with a chance at the POs).

      • Rizzofanclub

        I was the one who org said it and my only reason is in the past when a guy is in the late 20′s or early 30′s you go where the money is but when a player is 36+ they go where they can win championships. For example Ichiro, Tori Hunter, Beltran.

        • Scotti

          Old guys like money, too.

          • On The Farm

            Yeah I would say getting $13M to go somewhere to win a championship would be a pretty sweet deal. And for Ichiro to get $6M to do the same isn’t a bad deal for him either.

            • Scotti

              Correct. I doubt, however, that any teams that weren’t expecting to contend were seriously trying to outbid. The team that expects to contend has the most at stake so they are, generally, higher bidders. However, that doesn’t mean that older guys are only going to sign with contenders as folks here have suggested. It means contenders A ) have money and B ) are incentivised to spend that money.

  • Rizzofanclub

    I would be happy if the Cubs could land Choo on a 4 yr 60 million but I see some team getting desperate and giving him the 5th year and that is the same for Jacoby where I see 6 yr 106 million (Reyes contract) being the floor and I could see a team giving him the 7th year. I could see the Mets getting Choo and Seattle (the GM is on the hot seat) getting Ellsbury. I see the Cubs landing a good player that could have success. I could see the Cubs signing a guy a step below Choo, Pence, or Ellsbury such as Nelson Cruz, Curtis Granderson, Morse, Sizemore, or Hart. I would not mind Cruz on a 2 or 3 year deal but I really think it will be a guy from that list and probably will be a right handed bat.

  • caryatid62

    I hope no one is worried about any of the potential FAs blocking young players. These guys are, in some cases (like Almora) two- to two-and-a-half years away from the majors at minimum. And after they come to the majors, they will likely see at least a year of adjustments before the become the player they are likely to be for their careers. So unless you want to sit through 3-4 years of bad baseball, you may want to look at some of these free agents to compliment the young players who are about to come to the majors and/or are already here.

    • http://deepcenterfield.blogspot.com Jason Powers

      Your talking a sensible plan…so that might scare some off. To rationally expect it to take 2 years for the A/AA talent to get to the bigs, and stick, then another year to become everyday players at the bigs, is an unheard of proposition for some.

      I guess the $$$ they have allocated to the next 3 years for FA contracts determines what their team makeup will be. How to balance the funds they have been squirreling for the rebuild, versus fielding a competitive enough team in lieu of minor league talent promotion at the most cost effective time.

      They have probably 3 plans (aggressive, moderate, conservative) regarding those FA signs and minor league promotions.

    • willis

      Completely agree. Blocking really shouldn’t be a reason not to try and improve your team now, especially like you said with players that are 2-3 years away, if not more. Not to mention that half of the guys won’t become as good as they are projected nor as good as players the team may have a shot to sign.

      • http://deepcenterfield.blogspot.com Jason Powers

        Now…peace in the middle east! :)

  • http://Bleachernation Lou Brock

    I’d like to propose a deal with the Mets for a potential # 1 TOR pitcher who is killing it at AA at the age of 20 Noah Syndergaard and a catcher at A+ who is a gap hitter and above average defender Plawecki from Purdue for our current SS Starlin Castro. Mets are desperately in need of a SS and have nothing close in their system while they are loaded with great starting pitching in the majors and minors.
    We have Baez who looks like he may be ready for the SS job as soon as 2014 and we are talking about giving up all these top prospects for David Price.

    • On The Farm

      I absolutely love Castro and am one of his biggest supporters, and that doesn’t sound too bad of a deal right now. I really like Syndergaard and as you mentioned their is Baez for depth if you did do the deal.

    • cub2014

      Keep in mind before we send Castro packing,
      most top prospects with high strikeouts fail in
      the bigs. But it would be quite the power infield
      with: Bryant Baez Alcantera & Rizzo

    • Jon

      Ha, the Mets will tell you to F’ off with that offer.

    • mjhurdle

      The mets would absolutely jump at that.
      They only give up a AA pitcher and an A ball catcher with no power for a young, cost controlled, MLB level SS whose has shown the ability to play at an AS level in the bigs?

      Mets would have that dealed signed before Theo’s signature was dry.

      talk about your all-time selling low…

      • Jon

        “They only give up a AA pitcher”

        That’s like saying Javier Baez is only a AA shortstop

        Syndergaard is a 20 year old tearing up AA for them. I don’t care how dire their SS position is, they aren’t trading him for Starlin Castro. They could probably land Tulowitzki with a piece like Syndergaard.

        • On The Farm

          Pretty sure I saw one prospect guru on twitter today (may have been Parks) that said Syndergaard is a top 10 guy in MiLB.

          • http://deepcenterfield.blogspot.com Jason Powers

            That tracks…Mets are stacking up their rotation… 2015, they maybe ready to rock n roll, depending on their finances.

        • http://Bleachernation Lou Brock

          Problem with that is Tulo’ s contract and the fact that Rockies do not have a SS to replace him in their system

        • http://Bleachernation Lou Brock

          So are you saying Cubs could land Syndergaard for Baez straight up since both are killing it at AA at the age of 20.

          • Jon

            Since both are top 10(ish) prospects in all of baseball, value wise, it would be a even trade.

            Bottom like, to think you could get a top 10(ish)prospect for Castro at this point is pure fantasy.

            • Blublud

              If the Cubs were to offer Castro straight up for syndergaard, the Mets would ejaculate trying to get that deal done.

              • Jon

                Bleacher Nation, the fantasy land were Cub fans think Starlin Castro nets them a top 10 prospect. Admit it, you don’t even know who Syndergaard is? (or you just googled him 10 seconds ago)

                • On The Farm

                  Anyone who is familiar with prospects knows who Syndergaard is. He was the gem in the Dickey deal and started the Futures game this year. If you don’t think the Mets would love to get a under-25 SS for a pitching prospect they would be pretty happy. They have Wheeler and Harvey, they don’t have much for positional prospects.

                  No I think we are firmly in reality here.

                  • Jon

                    Their current rotation is irrelevant at this point. Last I checked there are five spots in a rotation, and if they are going to move Syndergaard it’s going to be for a player a helluvalot better than Starlin Castro.

                    • On The Farm

                      Their current rotation is irrelevant? Good luck scoring runs so those guys can win some games. My point is they have two really good SP, they can afford to trade one for an affordable SS who has had two all-star seasons. Its the same thing people talk about our system just reversed.People saying we should trade Baez for Price so we can get some pitching are probably equivalent to Mets fans saying, “lets trade some of our SP for some hitting”. Castro is not as big of a dump you think he is.

                    • mjhurdle

                      MLB performance is worth far more than AA stat sheets.
                      Syndergaard may very well turn out to be a stud, but Castro has already had 3 really really good years at the MLB level.
                      GMs KNOW that Castro can perform at a big league level. They THINK Syndergaard can.
                      Big difference there.

                    • Jason P

                      Yes, but he hasn’t had success THIS year. The 2 all-star seasons in his past don’t matter if he can’t return to form in the future, and until teams are sure that he can, they aren’t going to dangle prospects like Syndergard.

                      Castro is no longer a proven MLB performer. Not until he starts performing again. You both are grossly underestimating how much his value has plummeted since the start of this year.

                      If you still don’t believe me, try to find one instance in the past 20 years where a team has traded a top-15 prospect in the league for a guy who just had as bad of a season as Castro’s having. I can guarantee you won’t find one.

                    • Losing makes u better 62-100 > 75-87

                      I am getting this terrible feeling that what it’s going to take to fix Castro is a change of scenery on a different team. I hope he just needs a fresh start and new season but if he has another season like this year I think I’ll be pretty convince he just needs a complete change of scenery in order to find any success

                • Blublud

                  You know this because you just googled him. I know more about prospects than you could dream to know. If you think a team wouldn’t trade any AA player for a 23 yr old SS, who has been to 2 ASG, and has tons of upside, and years of cheap control, then you are crazy. The funny thing is people keep talking about shipping Castro out for Baez, which is just done. If Castro played for a different team and offered to the Cubs straight up for Baez, I think Theo pulls the trigger. If he doesn’t, it would only be because he is already set at SS.

                  • Jason P

                    I’ve got to agree with Jon here. Now that Castro’s signed to a long term extension, he no longer has the “cheap” aspect going for him. Any team looking to trade for him right now would be looking to buy low, which is why I don’t think we’d get a return anywhere close to Syndergard. He’s got upside, and he’s certainly got value, but teams don’t trade top-10 prospects for reclamation projects.

                    The entire point of trading prospects for MLers is for future performance. Castro’s numbers have been regressing at a time in his career when they should be progressing. This year, as we all know, he’s fallen off the map.

                    The Mets could get much, much better for Syndergard.

                    • Jason P

                      Second paragraph I meant proven, not future performance.

                    • vitaminB

                      Hard to believe he’s going to make $5 Mil next year.

                    • Jason P

                      I can’t tell if that was sarcastic, but any team who trades for him is risking being on the hook for the more expensive seasons ’17-’19 if he doesn’t turn it around. Not to mention 6 more years overall.

    • http://deepcenterfield.blogspot.com Jason Powers

      You must have read my post – or we at least were thinking about the same guy in Plawecki:
      http://www.bleachernation.com/2013/08/16/enhanced-box-score-cardinals-0-cubs-7-august-16-2013/comment-page-2/#comment-379106

      If you can get the Mets to bite, I think it is a matter of who’s is looking at it here.

      So:

      I’d wait just a bit on Castro….I know…he’s been bad. It comes down to his 1st half of 2014, then we evaluate where to go on him. He may bounce back, and then, it gives us even more options….

      As far as Plawecki, you might be able to swing that for less risk using our surplus of 3B. (I want a SP too.)

      Wilmer Flores did play SS for Mets in the minors… Tejada is still 23. They have a SS problem, but I doubt we have the one they want there.

  • FastBall

    DJ was just claimed off waivers by the Rays. He will be in Tampa tomorrow. His wife just twittered that she will be hanging out at Stanley’s bar til the season is over. Maybe she should get a room at the Treasure Isle Resort just down the road from the Rays stadium.

  • Geno

    We hop she comes back to Scotsdale. Kimmy closed up every night with us.

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