After losing Robinson Cano via free agency, the New York Yankees were prepared to spend their extra money to bolster the team’s outfield. Prior to Cano’s departure, the Yankees signed Jacoby Ellsbury to a seven-year, $153 million offer. They likely knew Cano was gone before locking down Ellsbury. Once Cano signed with the Seattle Mariners, New York reportedly made a similar offer to Shin-Soo Choo.
According to Jeff Passan of Yahoo! Sports, Choo and agent Scott Boras turned down a seven-year, $140 million offer from the Yankees earlier this month. When Boras reportedly indicated that Choo was looking for “Ellsbury money,” New York moved quickly to sign Carlos Beltran to a three-year, $45 million deal.
Other teams that are now interested in Choo include the Mariners, Houston Astros, Texas Rangers and Arizona Diamondbacks. Unless Choo was opposed to playing in New York for some reason, he may end up costing himself money by trying to get paid the same amount or more than Ellsbury.
At age 31, Choo is a little over a year older than Ellsbury. Jacoby is a bit more of an injury concern, but he is a career .297 hitter with tremendous speed. Choo has hit .288 during his career and has stolen about 20 bases per season since he began playing full time in 2009. Ellsbury stole 52 bases in 134 games last season and had a career-high 70 stolen bases in 153 games in 2009.
Choo has more power than Ellsbury, but Jacoby is a better fielder and a phenomenal lead-off hitter. While Choo seems to be more durable, very few MLB scouts would tell you that he is a better all-around player and difference-maker than Ellsbury. Perhaps the Mariners will continue to splurge by overpaying for his services, but don’t be surprised if seven years at $140 million is the best offer Choo receives.Google+