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shin-soo chooYesterday’s discussion of the Chicago Cubs’ possible interest in Shin-Soo Choo was predicated almost entirely on that one pesky question that pops up in these situations: yeah, but how much?

And, right on cue, the answer (well, an answer) comes wafting out: a hell of a lot.

Joel Sherman reports that at least one team in on Choo has heard that the negotiations are using Jacoby Ellsbury’s recently inked seven year, $153 million deal as a guidepost. The expectation, Sherman says, is that Choo’s deal winds up somewhere between that Ellsbury contract and the one signed by Jayson Werth a few years ago (seven years, $126 million).

Using the Ellsbury comp is no surprise, given that each outfielder is represented by Scott Boras. The problems for Boras? (1) Ellsbury is more than a year younger, plays top level center field, and offers far more upside than Choo; and (2) everyone knows that Boras never would have accepted a deal this early on Ellsbury unless he was sure he gotten a hell of a deal.

So, you can throw the Ellsbury deal out when it comes to Choo. If some team is foolish enough to even approach that figure, God bless.

But how about the Werth number? We’ve heard this comparison before, and my standby comment is: stop using the Werth contract as a comparable for anyone. To do so implies that it was a market deal, and not a ridiculous overpay that has been appropriately ripped for years.

Instead, let’s just do the old WAR/$ calculation to get a range on Choo.*

*(This kind of approach is very, very rough, and involves a lot of approximating and guesswork. Necessary evil and all that.)

In 2014, Choo is projected to be worth 4.8 wins according to the Oliver projection system, but just 3.2 wins according to Steamer. That’s quite a spread, but we’ll average it out to 4 wins. From there, players tend to lose about 0.5 wins per year once they’ve started to decline. I could argue that Choo’s drop-off could be more steep because he’s already 31, or I could argue that it will be less steep because his “discipline” value is likely to hold up better than a slugger. So, I won’t make either argument, and will instead project him for 4.0 wins in 2014, 3.5 wins in 2015, 3.0 wins in 2016, 2.5 wins in 2017, and 2.0 wins in 2018. Choo may very well get a deal longer than five years, but, for our purposes here, I’m not crazy about the Cubs going to six or seven years on him. You can tack on an addition year and $9 million to the projection below if you’d like to bring it up to six years.

Using the prevailing rate of about $6 million per win, Choo should be looking at something like:

2014: $24 million

2015: $21 million

2016: $18 million

2017: $15 million

2018: $12 million

Total: Five years, $90 million.

That does not discount for the value of the second round pick that Choo would cost the Cubs (though it’s worth noting that, because he’d cost the Cubs a second rounder, and many other teams a first rounder,  any deal would be “cheaper” for the Cubs). If we were to do some discounting, we’d note that the projected value of the Cubs’ second round pick – expressed in free agent dollars – is about $15 million (see last year’s post on Michael Bourn for the details on performing this exercise). That would drop the contract down to five years and $75 million.*

*(Which makes me feel like a genius, because that’s the precise contract I spitballed yesterday for Choo before I’d even picked up a calculator.)

So, to provide clear expected value, a Choo deal should be limited to five years and $75 million or six years and $84 million. Something in that range. Far, far less than Ellsbury’s deal, and far less than Werth’s.

Does that mean Choo will get a contract like that? Not necessarily. A desperate team could look past his limited defensive ability, his lack of pop, and his advancing age and give him $100 million or more. I don’t think he’ll get Werth’s deal, but he still might get more than the Cubs should be willing to offer.

  • James Smith

    Do it 5 years 90 million absolutly get Axford and Joba with a Starter and call it good for the offseason on “big” signings

  • Eric

    Let’s do 6/100 and call it a day.

    • cub2014

      Brett why do you and so many say “lack of pop”
      for Choo? I will take a leadoff hitter that can hit
      20-25 HRS a year everytime.

  • Micah

    I am certainly not hoping that the Cubs go after Choo. What purpose does he serve? I’d rather see the young outfield prospects get the nod and go from there. If Choo was 27 then I may change my mind…but he’s not.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      The purpose he serves is he makes the Cubs a much better team without harming the future. Also, he’d help for that future, which should be only a couple of years away.

      • Micah

        He’s not going to put them over the top as presently constructed though. He helps you get to be a 78 win team? By the time the Cubs are competing for a World Series, we hope 2015 still but I’m starting to question that and am thinking more like 2016-17, he will be a 33-34 year old outfielder with mediocre defense and a good OBP. I know Theo and crew value OBP very highly but can they find that same player in the farm system? Signing guys like Choo make me think they don’t trust the kids coming up. Granted not all prospects turn out (don’t Cub fans know that all too well?) but I’d at least like to see what they are before we replace them with a player 10 years their elder.

        • Norm

          Even if his OBP drops 50 points by 2016-2017, those guys don’t grow on trees.

          • Micah

            You’re absolutely correct. I just don’t know that for that dollar amount, and at that age, if he’s the right piece to add. I’d rather put that money into the starting rotation where we are still very thin throughout the organization.

      • commander bob

        i agree. choo doesnt fit with the cubs. i would also guess that choo is looking for a winning organization to play with as well. that is of course unless the cubs throw a silly contract his way.

    • Noah_I

      I think an important point to make is that a 27 year old who puts up offensive numbers like Choo is almost never going to make it the free agent market these days, at least not until they’re 30. Everyone on the free agent market the past few years has been flawed, either because of age (Pujols, Cano, Choo, Ellsbury), injury history (Choo, Ellsbury,Hamilton), or platoon splits (Choo, Hamilton), or some combination of the three. Plus some of them will be bad defensively.

  • Cubbie in NC

    The Werth deal was an obvious overpay because the Nationals could not get a free agent to sign with them. They knew it when the offered it to him.

    The way the Cubs are going, they are going to have their own “Werth” deal when they decide that they are going to compete at the MLB level.

    Otherwise they are never going to sign anyone.

    Soriano was a Werth junior deal after the Cubs missed out on Beltran and Furcal.

    • Bwa

      Soriano was arguably the best player in baseball the year before and his deal was not considered an overpay.

      • FullCountTommy

        Yes it was. The Cubs outbid themselves by adding the 7th and 8th years at the request of the business side of things. Sam Zell wanted to make the team more attractive to a possible buyer.

        • ruby2626

          I agree, it wasn’t the average yearly salary for Soriano that made it a large overpay it was the number of years. Cubs actually had a lot of bad luck with Soriano, he was coming off a 46 homer and 40 stolen base season so you weren’t going to get him cheap, who knew he’d hurt his hamstring and really never recover. A lot of that huge contract was for his stolen base numbers and as we know he never came close to duplicating what he had done in the past.

        • roz

          Zell didn’t own the Tribune at that point. The Tribune didn’t except his offer until April of 2007 and Soriano was signed in the offseason between the 2006 and 2007 seasons.

        • Jay

          Yes it was a SERIOUS overpay as they outbid all other teams by a wide margin. Hendry even said so later, but he was under strict orders to get Soriano into Chicago even though they knew the back half of the deal would be a serious albatross. Tribune Co. didn’t care, however, since they knew someone else would be writing the checks by then.

      • commander bob

        Not an overpay?

        that’s just silly.

  • Ballgame

    Good stuff Brett, I can see the deal for Choo being either 5/75 or 6/84. If the Cubs signed him, I’d be nervous about his durability. It’s been mentioned that when healthy, Kemp is far superior to Choo and if LA eats 40mil of Kemp’s deal then he’d have 6/90 remaining. Of course, we’d have to give up players for Kemp but without a doubt I’d rather take the risk on Kemp. I know Choo has been healthy each of the last two years, but Kemp is where it’s at…

    • Nate

      What you may have to give up a huge factor but I tend to agree. His health is also a factor

    • Blublud

      Please tell me how you are worried about Choos durability, but not Kemp’s. How much baseball have you watched in the last 2 years.

  • caryatid62

    Using Linear dollars per WAR projections actually gets you pretty close to your math. 5 years, $89.835 million.

  • Norm

    I think Choo will be at least 6-$120M.

  • waffle

    But boy would he look good at the top of our order, which is an ongoing mess.

    • Jay

      He’d actually almost be worth it as a CF. But he’s exposed there and you need your corner OF to bring the lumber, unless you magically get more power from other positions you don’t usually expect it from.

      The Werth deal was an overpay because the Nats have gone on record as saying they knew it was a year too early to go get him, but he’s the player they wanted and that’s when he came available.

  • Rebuilding

    It would be intersting to know how much FOs are projecting WAR inflation. Taking WAR up to $7 million per over the next 5/6 years bring the value up to about the actual contract I think he will get 6/115

    • Rebuilding

      Dovetailing with the Samardzija discussion. Brett, it’s my humble opinion that your numbers are coming out too low because you aren’t accounting for WAR inflation. I could se it being $8 million per WAR by 2019

      • Edwin

        Looking at Samardzija, and factoring in 3% inflation, which is close to what it’s been in the past, I come to him being worth about $92MM over the next 5 years. Thats estimating that Jeff is worth 3.5, 3.5, 3, 2.5, and 2 WAR over the next 5 years. I think that’s optimistic, since Jeff has never been worth over 3 WAR in his career in any one season.

        The Cubs would be looking at the value over the last 3 years of the deal, which is $49MM. Add in the buyout of Arb years, even if you highball it and say $15, an extention of 5/64? That would be a pretty generous first offer from the Cubs. I wouldn’t mind if they settle there, but they probably shouldn’t lead with it.

        • Rebuilding

          I think that’s a little more reasonable. But 2 things: (1) I really do think Shark and others would value him at 3.5 over the length of the deal (with the hope that he throws up a 5 WAR season one of these years) and (2) I think 3% WAR inflation is now way too low. The new national TV contract doubled the amount tems get

          • Edwin

            Shark and Others might value himself at the amount, and if so, then the Cubs should trade him to them. He’s 29 this year, and he’s never been even close to putting a 5 WAR season, let alone a 3.5 WAR season. At least by fangraphs.

            If a team would think he’s worth 3.5 WAR per season average, an extention would look like 5/88, using 5% inflation and $15MM for the buyout of arb.

            • Rebuilding

              I completely agree. I’ve said before that 5/85 is probably the most realistic # if you actually want to re-sign him (and have been skewered for it – but I stand by it). I don’t think the Cubs should pay that much so I’m for trading him

            • cubmig

              Responding to the Edwin post:
              This is where numbers are dangerous to use, imho……projecting future performance. I can see, and understand their reporting accurately portraying a player’s history, but to extrapolate from them future outcomes is as “iffy” as long odds on a race chart. AND…..Samardzija is a known quantity as a Cub. His own history is not to be discounted as one who turned his shortcomings around into strengths. Lets not forget that.

              • cubmig

                Note: If my response to Edwin on the numbers thing was off topic (i.e. it was still talk on the Choo offer) then please disregard. Sorry.

              • Edwin

                Sure. But any time a team is looking at signing a player for a long term, they’re going to do it based on some type of future projection. The -.5 WAR per year decline is just a rough average based on how a large number of players have declined over their career. I’m sure teams can tinker around with it based on individual circumstances such as age, player type, position, even individual scouting information can help influence an estimate.

                I mean, at some point the question of “how good do you think Jeff Samardzija will be over the next 5 years” needs to be asked and answered. Whether you use scouting, or numbers, or some combination, you’re basically doing the same thing. I don’t think scouting is always going to be that much more accurate than numbers.

                • cubmig

                  ” I mean, at some point the question of “how good do you think Jeff Samardzija will be over the next 5 years” needs to be asked and answered. Whether you use scouting, or numbers, or some combination, you’re basically doing the same thing.”

                  I’ll take the combination approach in answering that question. However, the impression I get (more often than not) is that the numbers approach is anointed as having special weigh value. Hence my stated point.

      • Edwin

        For WAR to be $8MM per year in 2019, it’d be inflation of about 5% per year. Adjusting my numbers, Jeff is still only worth about $52MM in the final three years. So a 5/67.

        • Rebuilding

          As I said just above. The new national contrct doubled. The Dodgers local deal alone gives the rest of the league 33% of $250 million so $2.5 mil per team. I think projecting WAR inflation of 5%+ is very reasonable

          • Edwin

            Using 6% and an average of 3.5, you’re looking at a 5/90. Using 6% and my original WAR estimation, it’s 5/68.

            I think the 5/90 is incredibly optimistic, and even the 5/68 is pretty optimistic. If another team is that optimisitc, the Cubs should trade Jeff and try to loot their system.

  • BlameHendry

    I would be very happy with 5y/90M or 6y/100M. Then nab Tanaka, add some peripheral pieces like Joba Chamberlain and John Axford, and suddenly 2014 looks way different.

    Make it happen Theo.

    • brickhouse

      Can not afford to sign Tanaka and sign Samardzija to an extension at this stage of the rebuild. Maybe in a couple years the Cubs can act like a big market team again.

    • DocPeterWimsey

      Theo (or Jed) can no more make Choo take $100M/6 yr than Hendry could make Angelos make Brian Roberts available for a trade.

  • Edwin

    Brett,

    You could also adjust for yearly inflation to $/WAR by increasing the $/WAR by 3% per year. Doing that I get 5/95. That’s before accounting for the $15MM. $15MM seems pretty high to value a 2nd round pick, but I admit I haven’t looked into it ever.

  • BD

    I know this is already an excercise with multiple variables, but I’d like to throw in another one.

    If there is more money in the game as a whole, how much inflation can you tack on for the expected escalation in contract amounts? We are used to 6/100 sounding like a big deal, but have we reached the point where that might actually still be a value?

  • LER

    Is there a straight-up comparison of Choo and Lake available?

    • Rebuilding

      What sort of comparison? Just raw numbers?

      http://www.baseball-reference.com

    • Micah

      Straight up Choo is far superior to Lake. I, personally, view Junior as Ben Zobrist. Super utility player that is good at a lot of things but not good enough to be a core piece to a championship puzzle. I know that’s not the stat based comparison you were looking for. Just one mans opinion.

  • v23

    Excellent analysis. Great job.

  • Edwin

    Man, inflation sure does change things. Remember when the Cubs signing Milton Bradley to a 3/30 contract was considered a huge contract?

  • David

    Chop is really for 2015 thru 2017. But… I see indirect value in him being in the line up this year. He ‘ll probably lead off & significantly help the # 2 hitter (Lake, hopefully) and the # 3 guy (Rizzo, hopefully). Two guys that are a part of the team when we’re good. They ‘ll see a lot more fastballs and have a lot more opportunities to drive in runs. I believe Rizzo tried to do too much last year….. Especially when Sori left.

  • CA CUB FAN

    Is he Japanese? If he is it might be beneficial in the subsequent negotiations with tanaka if and when they occur. Not sure that aspect can be quantitated but I am sure the Yankees will use Kuroda and Ichiro as pawns in their discussions and others may do it as well.

    • mdavis

      he’s South Korean i believe.

    • CA CUB FAN

      Actually just looked and he is Korean. So never mind.

  • Blublud

    If Ellsbury is worth 153 mil, then Choo is worth 200 mil. I don’t give a damn about defense, what the hell has Ellsbury done with the bat that makes him even remotely as valuable as Choo on offense. To say a guy who hits 20 HR a year, consistently, has no pop, but that a guy who minus his steroid binge year, averages less than 10 has upside is crazy. I don’t think Choo is worth 200 million, but I definitely don’t think Ellsbury is worth anything close to 153 mil either. Ellsbury should have been looking at 5 rs/75 mil and Choo 5 yrs/90 mil, or maybe a little more.

    • Norm

      ” I don’t give a damn about defense”
      This isn’t a good thing when evaluating a player.

      • Blublud

        I guess that was my way of saying I know Ellsbury plays better defense, but it doesn’t make up for how much choo is better with the bat. I guess I guess I could have explained that. ;)

      • JulioZuleta

        Hah. Adam Dunn had a higher OBP and hit more HR last year than both Adam Jones and Manny Machado. Defense doesn’t matter so Dunn obvi the best of the 3.

        • Blublud

          Make jokes all you want. But stat that go more along with run production, OBP, Slugging, OPS, OPS+, Ellsbury doesn’t even compare to Choo. Now Ellsbury does steal bases, but I value SB more then most statheads, so that definitely should not sway anyones opinion, especially considering Choo can steal a few himself. Choo has more power, more patience, takes more pitches, draws more walks, and does just about everything better on offense except BA and SB. Ellsbury is the better defender, without doubt. The problem is dWAR. I know Choo is not a great defender, but you can not convince me that Ellsbury is worth 4 more wins on defense than Choo. I’m not sure the best and the worse defender at every position is 4 wins apart on defense. So while defense is important, I’m not sure it important enough to make Ellsbury more valuable than Choo, or even as valuable.

          • DocPeterWimsey

            Elsbury would be as good as Choo or better *IF* Els could stay healthy. That’s the problem: Els almost never does. He played hurt most of this year again, for example. As such, I would agree with you: Choo is a much better bet to put up better OPS over the next couple of years. Now, if Els defies his prior odds and stays healthy, then: whoops. However, I don’t htink that he could have done so with the Cubs: he would have hit the brick wall too hard too often.

          • JulioZuleta

            At the beginning of the offseason, I don’t think I would have agreed that Choo should get a bigger deal than Ellsbury. Not that we saw what Ellsbury is there is no chance. I do however, agree that Ellsbury’s contract was way too much.

            You’re point would have been much better taken if you said something like, Choo’s skillset is more likely to remain steady with age, while Ellsbury’s speed and the benefits he gets from it (SBs, defense, higher BABIP) will likely deteriorate significantly during the deal. When you say “I don’t give a damn about defense,” that’s just an invitation to get questioned and lightly ridiculed.

        • DocPeterWimsey

          As Dunn, Adams and Machado play different positions, the comparisons border on meaningless. If all three did play the same position, then, yes Dunn *probably* would be the most valuable of the three.

    • Jay

      Just because the Yankees were idiots and gave Ellsbury that contract doesn’t mean we have to be equally stupid.

      • DocPeterWimsey

        It does means that somebody will probably have to be nearly as “stupid” to sign Choo.

  • Blackhawks1963

    Choo is going to get at least $120 million. No doubt in my mind about that. He’s the last prominent free agent standing…Boras is his agent…the benchmark has already been set of Werth – Ellsbury…and most importantly, there are multiple teams very interested in Choo.

    My prediction? 6 years, $135 million

  • http://BN Sacko

    So has Werth been worth his contract?
    Boras is Choo’s agent
    We are not going to be a very good team next year
    We are having problems signing Shark
    I don’t see Choo signing with the Cubs

  • Rebuilding

    Werth has put up 6.8 WAR (despite missing 3/4 of a season) and been paid $39.5 million so far…so yeah. But that contract is really backloaded

  • Rebuilding

    @Brett – Why aren’t you calculating WAR inflation into your numbers? I think it’s why we disagree so sharply on Samardzija and I think it leaves you way low on Choo. We know historically its 3%, but with the new national contract I could see 5% plus. That adds zeros

    • Edwin

      Just for a frame of reference, the difference between 3% and 5% isn’t so much. If we assume that the $/WAR is $6MM in 2013, by 2019 the $/WAR is $7.16 using 3% and $8.04 using 5%. So even in 2019, if you project Jeff to be worth 3 WAR (he’d be 34 by then, so there’s really no way), the difference in projected value in 2019 would be $2.62MM. Over the life of a deal, depending on performance, inflation is probably only going to casue a $10MM difference (if even that), and even then it’s more due to differences in projected performance than inflation.

      • Rebuilding

        Yes, the difference between 5% and 0% is around $10 million – pretty substantial

        • Edwin

          I don’t know what kind of WAR Brett is projecting, but I’d imagine it’s something close to 3, 3, 3, 3, 2. Using a $6MM WAR/$ all the way through, that gets us to $48MM over the last three years, plus the Arb buyout of $13 gets us to the $61MM over 5 years. A little optimistic for my taste, but oh well.

          Using a 5% inflation, it works out to $55MM over the last 3 years, plus the arb buyout of $13MM, to reach $68MM over 5 years. So a $7MM difference. It’s a difference, but it’s more about the WAR that Brett predicted than not counting for inflation.

          Sorry, I don’t mean to harp on this. It’s just an easy calculation to make, since I have it set up in a spreadhsheet right now.

  • Shawn

    Still would rather have Brett Gardner

    • DocPeterWimsey

      Gardner does not save nearly enough runs with his glove to make up for how many more Choo creates with his bat.

      • Rebuilding

        They had the exact same WAR last year (4.2) because Choo is -1.8 with the glove and Gardner is +1.2

        • Patrick W.

          I’ll take the offensively stronger player in the OF every time.

        • Patrick W.

          Also, are we assuming Choo would play out of position again?

          • Rebuilding

            Choo has been about that bad with the glove wherever he’s played (if anything playing CF gives him a bonus for positional toughness). All other things being equal I would take Choo too. Unfortunately, he likely wants $20 mil a year and Gardner makes $2.8 million

            • Noah_I

              Choo used to at least be serviceable in RF, but injuries piled up on that front as well. Ideally, he’s playing LF and, honestly, DHing some as well.

            • Rebuilding

              Dominic Brown:

              Pre All-Star Break: 273/320/535 – 855 OPS
              Post All-Star Break: 270/333/390 – 723 OPS

              • cubfanbob

                Brown as beat up after the all -star break. Wouldnt trade Shark for him but would love to see him in the Cubs lineup

                • Noah_I

                  I wouldn’t do straight up Shark for Brown, but Brown could be a primary piece in a trade.

      • Shawn

        Why does that matter on a team that is going to lose 80-90 games. Choo is 31 while Gardner is 24. When the team is ready to compete Gardner will be in his prime while Choo will be old. I just feel Gardner is a better long-term investment.

        • Jeff

          Gardner is 30

        • Stinky Pete

          Gardner is 30. Made MLB debut at 24.

          • Shawn

            yeah I looked at it wrong – still prefer him over Choo

    • cub2014

      Choo will end up with a top 10 contract in all
      of baseball (i hope not but probably too much
      for the Cubs to pay). These contracts rarely
      have value after 5 years, the rest of it is a
      business expense.

      So if you sign Choo he probably has very good
      value through 2018. He resolves our leadoff issue,
      he is our emergency CF (he was good enough for
      the 90 wins Reds) and as the propects come up
      he can move to a corner outfield. (Lets face it we
      will be lucky to have 1 OF prospect be as good as
      Choo) Why would you not want him?

  • jim

    Numbers agree, but i feel the 2014 Free Agent Super Spending Multiplier needs to be applied. Worth (and Werth..) vs value vs cost vs price, and such.

  • Rebuilding

    In the last 3 years he’s actually played (he was hurt 2012) Brett Gardner has put up WAR of 7.2, 3.9 and 4.2 for a salary of $2.8 million. Where do we sign up?

    • CC

      Richard Justice on MLB network just said he is one of top 15 players in the AL.

  • Die hard

    Babe Ruth who used hot dogs as PEDs must’ve had a WAR score of 10 or more and was paid peanuts compared to today’s players — the players should be embarrassed but they’re not— we should start a fans union and strike like fast food workers but for lower tkt prices

    • DarthHater

      [img]http://www.51allout.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2013/06/Old-Man-Yells-At-Cloud-the-simpsons-7414384-265-199.gif[/img]

      • JulioZuleta

        This made me giggle. Long time no talk, Darth. I’ve missed ye.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Luke

      Ruth posted double digit fWARs in nine seasons, capping out with a 15 in ’23.

      The scary thing is that Trout could put up similar figures in his prime.

      • Die hard

        Can there be a trade of a shark for a trout?

        • http://www.bleachernation.com Luke

          I would be very surprised.

          • JulioZuleta

            Dominic Brown is being rumored as a piece for Shark. A Brown Trout is a type of trout.

            • SenorGato

              The Phillies or Phillies propsect that I want is Jesse Biddle, and by himself he’s not enough for Samardzija.

              OTOH I would really, really, really like the Cubs to go after Biddle.

          • dumbledoresacubsfan

            Man. I doubt the Angels would even shop Trout, but it’d be so nice to have him on the team.

            What kind of package would the Cubs have to offer to land him? Samardzija, Castro, Soler, Edwards?

            • Noah_I

              That wouldn’t even come close. You’d probably have to lead off with all the of the eligible big three (Baez, Almora, Soler, as Bryant can’t be traded yet), then add in Rizzo or Castro, then add in Edwards or Johnson, then add in several of the next tier of prospects (Vogelbach/Amaya types), and maybe Shark as well. The amount you’d have to give up for him makes him essentially untradeable.

              • dumbledoresacubsfan

                Yep. That’s pretty much what I was assuming/afraid of.

        • DarthHater

          Thanks, Milton Berle, but this joke has already been made.

          • Rebuilding

            ^^^Ha

  • http://bleachernation.com woody

    I still don’t see the wisdom of signing Choo. I know he is a hell of a player. He has put the hurt on the Cubs on numerous occasions. Although we need some bats in the lineup, we know they are coming soon. I guess the deal with Samardzija is that Theo is open to trading him, but only if the price is high. But judging by the flurry of signings I would think that is a distinct possibility. Right now I have grown weary of all this speculation and intrigue. I just want to see some baseball played or at a minimum some spring training games so we can mull over some real news and statistics for a change. At this point whether or not attendance goes up or down, or if they need a big signing to boost attendance, or if they really stick to their guns and field a shiity team to go for the first pick in 2015 is irrelevant. I am just a bug in the rug to the big boys calling the shots. So I say; PLAY BALL!

  • rockin’ dawg

    I’ve changed my mind on signing Choo since yesterday! I don’t think it’s worth the overpay plus the lost draft pick. There are going to be some quality HS arms available at the top of the 2nd round. Same downside with signing Ubaldo Jimenez.

    I now believe we should trade for Matt Kemp and Brett Anderson instead. Both are buy-low candidates, are under 30, and have the upside of being true difference-makers. If Samardzija goes in the Kemp deal, it might take the Dodgers out of the Tanaka sweepstakes (an added bonus). Plus we don’t lose any draft picks.

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