Mailbag: Is there a fit for Shin-Soo Choo?

Michael in Bayonne sent the following e-mail: “It seems like the Indians and the Mets could match up well in a trade. Should the Mets be going after Indians OF Shin-Soo Choo? He seems like a good fit.”

Choo, 30, hit .283 with a .373 OBP, 16 home runs and 67 RBI in 686 plate appearances over 155 games with the Indians in 2012.

He signed a one-year, $4.9 million contract with the Indians to avoid arbitration this past January. He is eligible for arbitration for the final time this winter, and can become a free agent after the 2013 season.

Matthew Cerrone, Lead Writer

I like Choo, but I don’t see how a trade fits. He’s a free agent at the end of next season. His agent is Scott Boras and the buzz in Cleveland is that they’ve stonewalled the Indians on every attempt to try and work out a contract extension. Reports suggest the Indians are open to trading Choo, who will likely earn around $8 million. The money is right, especially if the Mets end up clearing R.A. Dickey’s salary. However, I just don’t see Sandy Alderson making a meaningful trade (like this would be) unless the guy is young and under contract for the next few years. Plus, with what it would cost to trade for Choo, knowing he’s gone one year from now, the Mets would probably be better off giving Scott Hairston a two-year deal and letting him platoon with Mike Baxter, who combined to put up roughly the same numbers as the Indians outfielder.

I still think the Mets match up best with Arizona, Toronto and Oakland.