Harper: Mets could consider signing Shin-Soo Choo next winter

Shin-Soo Choo polaroidIn a report for the Daily News, John Harper says the Mets could pursue OF Shin-Soo Choo this winter.

“I’d bet on him being a Met next season,” a Major League executive told Harper. “He’s a high on-base percentage guy, which is what Sandy wants, and he’s a really good hitter.”

Harper asked a team executive about the possibility of signing Choo for next season, to which he responded. “He’s a very good player, that’s about all I can say.”

Harper believes the Mets are already considering possibilities for next season.

Michael Baron, Contributor

I like Choo. He’s left-handed and strikes out a lot, but he’s fast, has good extra-base power, he gets on-base a lot, and he scores a lot of runs. He’s off to a real fast start in 2013, as he leads the league in both on-base percentage and runs scored. He’s also on pace to hit around 30 home runs, far exceeding any other season’s total. Choo is basically exactly what this team needs: he’s an outfielder – although not a particularly good one – and has become a prototypical leadoff guy, and the Mets don’t exactly have those attributes at the moment.

Choo is represented by Scott Boras, and so he’s more or less guaranteed to hit the open market this winter. And, if he continues this torrid pace, he will be due for a huge pay day and a long-term contract. Yes, Choo is a good player, but it remains to be seen if the Mets entertain Choo in a long-term commitment, and don’t direct those resources towards a true power hitter for the middle of the lineup. It’s also worth mentioning Choo could very well receive a qualifying offer from the Reds, meaning the Mets might be required to surrender a draft pick in exchange for signing him if they don’t finish in the bottom ten in the league this season. Maybe they do these things to get Choo, but he is already 30, and so the Mets need to be careful about sacrificing a pick for him and committing the bulk of a potential contract to a player who largely depends on his speed for success.

Statistics and information on Shin-Soo Choo...

Stats: Choo is hitting .318 with a .458 OBP and 1.018 OPS, seven home runs and 18 RBI with 23 walks and 32 strikeouts in 167 plate appearances this season. His .458 OBP and 28 runs scored lead the league.

Contract: Choo will earn $7.3 million this season, and can become a free agent this winter.