In the most obvious way, a play by the lowly Astros for Choo would be shocking. Their highest-paid player last year, Bud Norris at $3 million, was traded in midyear, and their total payroll was 70 percent lower than the average payroll to start the year. Some figured the payroll as low as $13 million by year’s end, depending on how it’s calculated. But in one way it makes sense. Astros GM Jeff Luhnow has emphasized on-base percentage like almost no other baseball executive, and Choo had a .423 on-base percentage in 2013, second only to Reds teammate Joey Votto in the National League.
Heyman goes on to note that Choo’s agent, Scott Boras, will attempt to secure a contract for Choo in excess of the seven year, $126 million dollar deal Jayson Werth signed with the Nationals a few seasons ago.
Along with the Astros, Heyman lists the Rangers, Cubs, Mariners, and Mets as potential destinations for Choo in the event he doesn’t re-sign with Cincinnati.
Choo, 31, would be a nice fit for the Mets. He hit .285 with a .423 OBP last year for the Reds, and would theoretically slide into the leadoff spot and play either left field or right field if the Mets signed him.
If Heyman’s report is accurate, and Scott Boras is looking for a deal in excess of $126 million for Choo (and there’s a team out there insane enough to give Choo that deal), the Mets will almost certainly look elsewhere.
If Choo’s contract demands end up being relatively reasonable, the Mets should be in on him. However, there are lots of other options out there (via free agency or trade) who could be equal or better fits if Choo winds up somewhere besides Queens.