With Robinson Cano off the market, Shin-Soo Choo is by far the top offensive threat left in free agency. For that reason, his name has spread like wild fire through the 2013 Winter Meetings. So many teams want to get a word in with him and try to impress in order to land an impressive bat this offseason. However, is it possible that Choo will wait out the signings for several weeks similar to when Prince Fielder signed with the Detroit Tigers two years ago?
At this point, I can’t imagine it would surprise anyone if the Tigers wrote a big check in early January to acquire Choo. There’s no question he would be the necessary piece that would propel Detroit to World Series favorites in the American League.
The 31-year-old ranked in the top-five among MLB center fielders in batting average (.285), doubles (34), total bases (263), walks (112), on-base percentage (.423) and numerous other offensive categories. He also continuously made great defensive plays in the outfield, which is a direct result of his .989 fielding percentage in 361 total chances. On top of that, he recorded 21 home runs and 54 RBI all while in the leadoff spot for the Cincinnati Reds in 2013.
It’s tough to say if Detroit will shell out the money for Choo or decide to keep what they have in place in order to see how they fare in 2014. Remember, one of the major reasons the Tigers traded Fielder was because they wanted to free up payroll to sign several big-named players on their roster over the next couple of years, which includes AL Cy Young Award winner Max Scherzer.
It will all come down to how much Choo wants over how many years and if the Tigers can swing it financially.