The future may be bright for the Cubs as there is some nice young talent on the team and they have one of the best minor league systems in all of baseball, but if the Cubs do not make some moves this offseason, 2014 will probably be another long season on the North Side.
According to Patrick Mooney of CSNChicago.com, the Cubs are going to make a run at Cincinnati Reds outfielder Shin-Soo Choo this offseason. Choo is a free agent at the end of the season and makes a ton of sense for the Cubs. Mooney says that part of the Cubs’ plan this offseason is to get more left-handed bats in their lineup and improve their on-base percentage.
Choo is a left-handed batter, and his .416 on-base percentage in the fourth-best in all of baseball. He is a very patient hitter that works the count extremely well, as his 82 walks are the second most in all of baseball.
The Cubs traded David DeJesus to the Nationals earlier this week, and that opens up a spot in the outfield for someone in 2014. Nate Schierholtz is having a career year, hitting .276 with 18 home runs and 58 RBIs. He will be the starting right fielder in 2014. Junior Lake is a very talented but erratic player. He has been exciting since arriving in the majors, but he is the kind of player from whom you never know what you are going to get.
The Cubs will give Lake every opportunity to take over an outfield spot, preferably center. This leaves the Cubs searching for a left fielder who could play center if needed. Ryan Sweeney and Brian Bogusevic have been interesting in limited time this season, but both guys probably serve better in bench roles.
Choo is a perfect fit with the Cubs. They have an open spot in the outfield, could use another left-handed bat and are severely lacking in the OBP department. Choo’s plate discipline at the top of the Cubs lineup should help take the pressure off of guys like Starlin Castro, Anthony Rizzo and Lake.
This is definitely something to keep an eye on as we enter the end of the 2013 season. The Cubs could not ask for a more perfect fit than Choo, and hopefully they make a competitive offer and the on-base machine lands in Chicago.