Report: Indians will listen to offers for Shin-Soo Choo


Via Jon Heyman, the Indians will listen to trade offers for outfielder Shin-Soo Choo this offseason. The 30-year-old Choo is hitting .284/.366/.465 (131 wRC+) with 15 homers and 15 steals this season and is due to become a free agent after 2013. Per the new Collective Bargaining Agreement, a team must have a player on their roster the entire season in order to receive draft pick compensation if they leave as a free agent.

The Yankees figure to be looking for an outfielder this offseason as they’re expected to let Nick Swisher walk as part of the plan to get under the $189M luxury tax threshold in 2014. Choo is an all-around player who plays strong defense with a cannon arm, so he’d be a perfect one-year stop gap — count on Scott Boras taking him out on the open market as a free agent next winter. Whether the Yankees have interest or even the pieces to land him is another matter entirely, but Choo should certainly be on the radar if Swisher is allowed to leave.

Categories : Asides, Hot Stove League


  1. Steve (different one) says:

    He will play 2B for the Dodgers…

  2. Neil says:

    cost in terms of a trade? Phelps and CoJo? or is that too optimistic?

    Would you trade Hughes for him? with minor pieces being exchanged on either side?

    • I think Phelps and CoJo would be a good starting point…he might also cost a couple of the A kids too if you don’t want to part with any big league guys.

      • fin says:

        So we want to trade a starting pitcher with 5 years of team control who has looked good this year for a 1 yr rental of a solid but unspectacular player? What is the cost to the Yankees to replace Phelps in the rotation? We dont even know that Kuroda or Petite will be back next year and I would probably rather have Phelps at this point than Petite.

        • Pettitte. Pettitte. Pettitte. I hate that people spell his name wrong, continuously. He’s the best pitcher that your favorite team has turned out over the last 2 decades.

          Now to your actual point: Phelps has been really good this season, don’t get me wrong, but Nova looked really good in 2010 and they basically profiled as the same thing as prospects. Back end guys, who might be able to hold a 4/5 spot in the rotation. Not saying this trade would be a slam dunk win for the Yankees, but Choo is a very good defensive outfielder, with decent power, and before this season never had an outrageous platoon split. Replacing Phelps in the rotation is pretty easy too: Pettitte has already said he might want to pitch again next year after how this season went, There’s a chance that Nova bounces back and figures out whats wrong, Micheal Pineda is still on the team (hopefully he’s back by mid-point next year), Warren’s still in the minors and profiles to almost the exact thing as Phelps, Banuelos is still in the minors as well. All these options with out even considering bringing back Kuroda (which the Yankees should absolutely do) or testing the FA market.

          • fin says:

            I have no faith in Pettitte. He has pitched in what, 10 games in 2 years and will be 41 next year. Doesnt mean I dont love him, just means at this point in his career, he is a luxory not someone to be counted on. As far as Phelps being easily replaced you have to be kidding me. He has pitched very well, makes league minimum and has years of team control left. I dont give a crap how Warren was projected a couple years ago, hes clearly not as good in AAA as Phelps is in MLB and I doubt very seriously anyone is projecting Warren to be a number 4/5 in the AL east right now. Pineda can also be counted on for nothing next year in my opinion. Even if he comes back to be something resembling his former self, I doubt it happens next year. I think most of the time people coming off shoulder surgery struggle mightly the following year. I think there is at least an equal chance Pineda is in AAA next year as there is that he is making valuable contributions to the Yankees. I feel pretty good about Nova getting healthy/straightend out for next year. Have to think Kuroda comes back too. I’m sorry but I just dont include Phelps, who might be the 3rd best starter on the Yankees right now, for a 1yr rental of Choo.

            • fin says:

              Btw, even with his bad year I wouldnt trade Nova for Choo either. Even though guys like Nova and Phelps are easy to come by.

                • fin says:

                  Not at all, I have no problems trading a guy like Cojo for a 1 yr rental of a good player. Just not starting pitching who have shown alot of potential at the major league level. I also think that Nova and Phelps are a bit more than prospects at this point as they have shown they can succeed in the majors.

              • Get Phelps Up says:

                If they’re “easy to come by” then why are you so reluctant to trade one for Choo?

                • fin says:

                  It was sarcasm in responce to Tom Riddle. I happen to think those guys are extremely hard to replace.

                  • Get Phelps Up says:

                    OK, I get you. Still, they may be hard to replace, but it’s not often you’ll be able to (potentially) trade what’s likely to be a back end starter for a guy like Choo.

                    • fin says:

                      Its a 1 yr rental of Choo. If they were getting a couple years, I could see it. I jsut dont think its worth one year. I would also say that Phelps has pitched better than a “back of the rotation starter”. Nova pitched like a number 2/3 last year, and its not suprising to see a young pitcher struggle at some point and hopefully that is whats going on now.

                  • This is how difficult they are to replace:
                    Nova goes down, and Phelps is right there to take his spot, Phelps goes down Warren is right there to take his.

                    • fin says:

                      LOL short memory you have. It wasnt so long ago the Yankees couldndt find pitching anywhere. Now, because they happen to have a couple solid major league pitching prospects in the minors, they are easy to come by. I think the redsox would disagree.

            • You make it sound like Pettitte got hurt by the act of pitching and was pitching poorly before he got hurt. He was very, very good before he got hurt, and his injury was the definition of a freak-injury. Also Phelps is young, very young, and as far as I’m concerned until he proves he can be half as good as he’s been over the past 3 weeks over a full season I’m going to with his scouting report from people who have watched him through his entire professional career over some SSS noise. Same to be said with Warren and how underwhelming he’s been. You make a solid point about Pineda and what to expect from him next year, but if he’s healthy and even only 70% of his former self I want him in the rotation over Phelps every day of the week and twice on Sundays. Basically what I’m saying is if the Yankees don’t make this trade their depth chart for starters next years should be:
              *huge gap*
              *small gap*
              *huge gap*
              rest of minors

              Pineda in either the first or second group depending on health.

              • fin says:

                My point wasnt that Pettitte got hurt. My point was that all we have to go off of for Pettitte is 10 games worth of action in 2yrs and that he will be 41 years old next season. There is no way I want to put my eggs in that basket. Since you brought up the injury, he was not only injured this year, but for 2 months in 2010 also. I basically, agree with your depth chart. Except I’m not convinced there is a huge gap between Phelps/Nova and Hughes. I also think there is a huge gap between Nova/Phelps and Warren. Hey if you think Warren is capable of holding down a starting job for the Yankees, thats fine, I dont. I really dont think right now Warren is even depth, I think the Yankees would make a Chad G. trade before letting him pitch. IF you have Pettitte on the team you better have 7 starters ready to go, as the last 2 seasons hes pitched hes missed 2 months in each, and there will be other injuries. Again, not so easy to replace Phelps or Nova who both have options and can not only be very good starters but used as depth if thats the way the cards fall.

                • Pettitte’s back two years ago could be a lingery type of injury, I’ll give you that, but like I said the ankle was a fluke thing. It’s not like it was his back acting up that caused him to miss these games. I personally think the year off helped Pettitte’s back and if he doesn’t take another line drive off his foot next season there is very little reason to be concerned about him. I’m also saying that I have no idea what Warren is in respect to being a major leaguer, and I have the same belief about Phelps. They just don’t have enough history to be able to say with conviction either way what they are going forward. Nova is in the same grouping with them only because I think he showed this season that despite how good he was down the stretch last year, he still has problems with line-ups the 2nd and 3rd times through.

                  When it comes to Choo, we have a better idea of what we’re getting because he has a history to prove it. I’ve always been the type of person who believes that you trade a variable for a definite upgrade. What Phelps is going to be next season is a variable where as if Swisher walks Choo would be a definite upgrade over anybody currently on the roster who would replace him.

                  • fin says:

                    My argument is you’re getting very little value out of Choo because its a 1 yr rental. Not that Phelps is a better player than Choo. I think over the years of control that the Yankees have over Phelps he will provide more value than Choo will for his 1yr. Especially considering his splits make him more of a platoon player this year, and he is a year removed from a 1.2 war player. His splits combined with last years performance leads me to believe he probably is best served as a platoon player at this point, on a team like the Yankees.

    • Robinson Tilapia aka Melky's Webmaster says:

      I’d say Hughes could in be play if the team’s pretty much convinced they won’t bring him back, or that there’s enough depth going into 2013 (which I don’t think there is.)

      I’m wary of giving up too much for one year of a guy.

      • Rey22 says:

        A rebuilding team like the Indians have no use for Hughes. They’re gonna want prospects.

        • Ted Nelson says:

          Agreed. Hughes is a FA at the same time as Choo. Unless they feel they can re-sign him cheap, they are getting a worse player for the same amount of time… Maybe he can be one of multiple pieces, but even there I don’t know that one year of a mediocre starter is appealing to the Indians. If they’re trading one of their best players, they probably want some upside. Hard to say Hughes has much. (I mean of course he’s young enough to improve, just unlikelyto get way better… And if he gets better without signing an extension first, it doesn’t help much.) 5 or 6 years of control is upside.

    • Dean Winters says:

      I’d give up Hughes for Upton not sure about Choo

    • Brian S. says:

      That’s probably what it would take but I don’t want to trade either of Phelps or CoJo. Phelps has the potential to be a mid rotation rock and CoJo walks more than he strikes out and has a >.220 ISO as a 23 year old in AAA.

  3. Choo is one of the few players I’d be happy with replacing Swisher.

  4. Buffalo Bill says:

    If only he wasn’t worthless against left handed pitching…

  5. Eric Schultz says:

    All for it, depending on the price obviously.

  6. Steve (different one) says:

    Pineda’s DUI – you suck Cashman, how could you trade for this guy

    Choo’s DUI – you suck Cashman if you don’t trade for this guy

  7. Brian S. says:

    He’s a platoon player.

  8. Betty Lizard says:

    Please lock me away
    And don’t allow the day
    Here inside, where I hide with my loneliness
    I don’t care you wish, I won’t stay
    In a world without Swish

    • Rooting for U.S. Steel says:

      AAAAAAUUUGGGH! No Peter and Gordon! No, no, no! Earworm! AAAAAAUGH!

      Quick, where’s the Chad and Jeremy for the cure? Or the drill bit and set?

  9. RetroRob says:

    Who says the Yankees are expected to let Nick Swisher walk as part of the plan to get under the $189M luxury tax threshold in 2014?

    • Get Phelps Up says:

      I’m not sure, but I personally would much rater keep Swish and let Granderson walk.

      • Brian S. says:


      • Yeah, I agree. Grandy’s home runs are nice an all but defensively I think Swish is a better corner OF then Grandy is a CF and Swish has a better ability to get on base than Grandy does.

        • Steve (different one) says:

          Would Granderson be a better corner OFer than Swisher? I have to think so.

          • Probably, but I think teams would be willing to spend more on Granderson than Swisher. That’s just my opinion though.

            • jjyank says:

              I think you’re right. Plus Granderson is two years older, and that’s a huge factor when we’re talking about long-ish term deals.

            • Brian S. says:

              What could we fetch in a trade for Granderson?

              • I think that depends completely on the team that we trade with, our needs at the time of the trade, and their farm system. I think a couple of A-B prospects wouldn’t be completely out of the question or a major league ready average player (mid rotation guy or solid position player) and a B-C level prospect wouldn’t be too crazy either.

                • Get Phelps Up says:

                  I’d say something comparable to the Coke/AJax package that the Yankees gave up to get him. Granted he’s older now and has less team control, but he has now shown 40 HR power for 2 years in a row, and isn’t completely useless against LHP like he was when the Yankees got him.

                  • Ted Nelson says:

                    Yankees also gave up Kennedy, who at least shared top billing with AJax in that deal.

                    I tend to agree that it would be something close to AJax/Coke (one top-ish but not stud prospect and one low-ceiling contributor), though the AJax you get might not be MLB ready.

                • I am not the droids you're looking for... says:

                  Well I think if we sign him to an 8 year extension at say $21mm/yr we could trade him to the Dodgers for some prospects.

                  (sorry couldn’t resist)

                  • Genius!!! Sign him to an extension, then trade him and Alex to the Dodgers, have them eat most of the salary, and get a couple of guys who might help out of the bullpen!!!

                    Seriously. How the fuck? I’m still trying to figure out how Boston convinced them to eat most of the money. Gonzo made the point about the TV deal, but will the TV companies care if the Dodgers are paying for the players on the team?

    • No one, but one of the fears now is that to replace A-Gon the Sox will throw a lot of money at Swish.

      • fin says:

        If people believe the Sox will throw alot of money at Swisher, then they are basically buying into the theory that the Sox are going to reload this offseason and comeback and try to compete next year with risky FA signings. I cant see the Sox over paying a 32 year old Swisher unless they go all in and get Grienke, Hamilton and an Edwin Jackson type pitcher. I think its certainly possible, but I think the Sox are going to rebuild slowly and avoid those kind of risky moves.

    • Ted Nelson says:

      Market force and budgetary constraints.

      • Brian S. says:

        I wouldn’t be surprised to see them let Swisher and Granderson both walk after their deals expire. And that might be the right move too, don’t pay for their declines.

  10. Austinmac says:

    Retro Rob,

    Virtually every article on the Yankee budget says they won’t retain Swisher. Personally, I would try to retain him and shop Granderson.

  11. Brian S. says:

    How productive would a Mustelier/Z. Almonte platoon be next year?

  12. Captain Gift Basket says:

    Yes! Choo would blend right into this Yankee lineup. Another guy who makes limited contact who can strand a boat load of runners on 3rd with less than 2 out. This team won’t miss a beat with him!

  13. pistol pete says:

    Don’t like losing Swisher, he’s versatile, switch hits, has power, can hit anywhere in the lineup, runs ok, is a great clubhouse guy, my only complaint is he has virtually stunk in October and this comes from a Swisher lover.

  14. Andy Pettitte's Fibula says:

    The truth is with nobody on the farm capable of replacing Grandy, Swish or Cano in the next 1-2 years and the Yankees needing to trim payroll, 2014 and 2015 are looking like transitional years especially with aging core players eating up huge amounts of payroll.

    • Ted Nelson says:

      A. They don’t have to replace all three of those guys. They don’t even have to replace 2 of the 3 if they save money on pitching.

      B. There are options other than re-signing one particular guy or using a prospect… you know, free agency and trades. Even under the old CBA the Yankees would have been wise to consider options other than re-signing guys to huge deals into their decline years. Granderson may already be in decline now.

      C. You don’t need 9 studs to be a playoff team or even WS winner.

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