RUMORS: Cubs likely out of the Choo sweepstakes


Sep 20, 2013; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Cincinnati Reds center fielder

Shin-Soo Choo

(17) reacts after swinging at a ball against the Pittsburgh Pirates during the fifth inning at PNC Park. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

With the trade of Mark Trumbo essentially complete coupled with the signings of Curtis Granderson (New York Mets) and Jacoby Ellsbury (New York Yankees), the attention of teams seeking an impact outfielder has shifted to Shin-Soo Choo, who spent last year in Cincinnati, where he excelled in an area most teams seek: getting on base.

According to Jerry Crasnick of ESPN, the Cubs are not among the possible destinations for the 31-year-old South Korean native – likely due to his staggering price range, expected to be somewhere between Jayson Werth‘s deal from a few years ago and Ellsbury’s $153 million deal with the Yankees.

Currently, Chicago’s outfielders project as follows (from left to right): Brian Bogusevic, Junior Lake and Nate Schierholtz.  Needless to say, it’s hardly an imposing trio.

Among the potential suitors for Choo are Texas, Seattle, Detroit, Boston, San Francisco, Cincinnati, Baltimore, Arizona and the Yankees.

However, with the recent moves made by many of these organizations, this list can be narrowed down.

The Yankees already have six outfielders on their roster, which likely eliminates them from adding Choo. Arizona added Trumbo in a three-team deal and Boston seems unlikely to add another high-payroll player following the salary dump of Carl Crawford and Adrian Gonzalez a few years back.

Multiple reports indicate that the Tigers are now out of the running after signing Rajai Davis to a two-year deal, leaving the likely suitors remaining as Texas, Seattle and Cincinnati – which is considered, by many, to be a long-shot.

It’s no secret that Seattle is seeking to make a splash following the signing of former New York Yankees second baseman Robinson Cano, and adding Choo could be the next step. Texas has also been linked to Nelson Cruz, but remain very much in play for the Rangers.

According to Jon Heyman of CBS Sports, the Reds met to discuss Choo last night, but unless he’s willing to drop his asking price significantly, it seems likely that he won’t return to Cincinnati in 2014.

The Cubs could always come out of the woodwork to make a run at Choo, but all signs currently point to the outfielder signing somewhere else, most likely Seattle or Texas. His high price tag and contract demands has narrowed the field, seemingly pushing Chicago out of its comfort zone.