Mets expected to pursue Shin-Soo Choo this winter

Shin-Soo Choo 1 polaroidThe Mets will go after free agent outfielder Shin-Soo Choo, according to a report from Andy Martino in the New York Daily News.

“Hearing Choo is the guy they like,” an unnamed executive told Martino. A Mets official also confirmed that the team is looking at Choo.

This season, in 139 games with Cincinnati, Choo is hitting .291 with a .425 OBP. He’s hit 20 home runs, driven in 48 runners, stolen 17 bases (caught 11 times) and has drawn 97 walks.

Choo, 31, has a career .389 OBP and has primarily played right field in his career, but has served as the Reds center fielder for most of this season.

“While one big knock on Choo is his susceptibility to left-handed pitching — he’s hitting just .211 against southpaws with a .247 slugging percentage — he’s still managed a .350 OBP against same-handed pitchers,” Steve Adams wrote on MLB Trade Rumors.

The Cubs and Reds are also expected to go after Choo this winter.

Michael Baron, Contributor

Choo would fill a number of needs for the Mets. He projects more as a below-average corner outfielder, but has become a very good leadoff guy. He gets on-base a ton and has good speed, although he’s been thrown out 11 times in stolen base attempts this year. Still, the Mets don’t exactly have those attributes for the top of their order. However, as was the case with Michael Bourn in February, the Mets need to be careful about committing the bulk of a potential contract to a player who largely depends on his speed for success and is on the bad side of 30.

Matthew Cerrone, Lead Writer

I’d say there is a good chance the Mets end up with Choo. He’s the only player I’ve heard mentioned as a realistic possibility. Insiders predict he could end up getting a four-year deal worth around $10 million a season, which is similar to what Michael Bourn got last winter from the Indians. Alderson was ready to spend that much on Bourn, but balked when it meant giving up a draft pick. It’s looking like the Mets will likely have their pick protected this year. So, with more money to spend this winter, the same holes and a better fit, it’s reasonable to think this could be a match.

Read more: New York Daily News, MLB Trade Rumors