Shin-Soo Choo (Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports)

Shin-Soo Choo Will be Too Expensive


Shin-Soo Choo has been discussed as an outfield option for the Houston Astros this offseason. And I don’t think the Astros should sign him.

Choo is a talented player in the prime of his career. And the Astros need a huge upgrade to the outfield. On paper this looks like a perfect match. But is it?

For starters, let’s take a look at the outfielder’s statistical performance over the last two seasons.

  • 2012: .283/.373/.441, 16 HR, 67 RBI, 21 SB
  • 2013: .285/.423/.462, 21 HR, 54 RBI, 20 SB

Outfielders, or players in general, that can be counted on to produce 20/20 seasons don’t grow on trees and the chance to add one should not be taken lightly. That production would certainly look nice in Houston’s 2014 lineup. But at what cost?

I would not hold Choo’s low RBI numbers over the last two seasons against him, as that is a product of him batting at the top of the order. In the past when he batted in the middle of the order, Choo did show the ability to drive in runs (86 in 2009 and 90 in 2010), and he also has the ability to bat anywhere in the order. That is a valuable skill set.

But looking at Choo’s cumulative batting average does not tell the full story. Last season in 221 plate appearances, Choo hit just .215 against left-handed pitching. That is a problem that has plagued the outfielder for his entire career as his lifetime splits are .309 against right-handers and .243 against left-handers.

That and the fact that Choo is already 31 years old makes me hesitant to commit to Choo in a big way (both dollars and years). To some degree sure, Choo is worth signing. He is a talented player and could certainly help the Astros. At the $90 million or so that was being floated around last week for Choo, he would potentially be worth considering. But he might not be the best fit for the Astros since they are still a few years away from contending.

However, that is likely not a realistic price tag for Choo. With Scott Boras not having many big ticket free agents this winter, he will be looking to capitalize with Choo. For that reason, it seems plausible that the price tag for the outfielder will eclipse $126 million. And that is just way too much.

Would you consider Will Venable a player worth $125 million?

The answer likely is a resounding no. And that is nothing against Venable. But the San Diego outfielder’s 2013 was comparable to Choo’s with 22 HR’s and 22 SB’s.

Houston can find better ways to spend their money this offseason. What do you think?

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Tags: Houston Astros Shin Soo Choo

  • Bob

    I wondered about the Choo rumors right from the beginning when Jon Heyman came out and said that Houston would be pursuing him. While he is a good solid player, he is NOT worth $126 million or anything near that. And Houston should avoid him for that amount of money and years as much of his game is his speed and I expect that to dwindle as the years go on.

    • Ray_Kuhn_28

      Exactly, the last year or two of his contract will ultimately prove to be an albatross.

  • leif

    I’m in full agreement, if the market holds 126 for Choo, all the more power. If I were Luhnow, I would fore go that expense and loss of draft pick. Rebuilding is painful, but signing a contract that doesn’t warrant the product hurts worse.

    • Ray_Kuhn_28

      I didn’t even bring up the point of losing the draft choice, because if everything else lined up, I would be alright with that.

  • Richard Lee Ochoa

    I Do think So that fofor the Houdton stros Will Sign Shin-Soo Choo today