Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Reds need Shin-Soo Choo the second-most, according to Swydan

Choo looks good in Reds
Shin-Soo Choo remains perhaps the best unsigned free agent of this offseason. Many suitors have checked in on Choo, but none have been willing to bite on his and agent Scott Boras' demands as of yet. It's reported that ultimately he wants an eight-year contract in the range of $20 million per year. Regardless of what he will cost, it's clear that several teams could definitely use the 31-year old, South Korean's services.

Paul Swydan, of ESPN, threw together a list of which teams need Choo the most. As you can imagine, the Cincinnati Reds were one of those teams. In fact, Swydan only make a case for one other team needing Choo more than the Redlegs.

It is an ESPN Insider article, but here are a few of the major points Swydan makes for Cincinnati:

"Cincinnati is counting on Ryan Ludwick to man left field next season, and that probably isn't going to turn out too well for them."

"Whether you want to look at the past one, three or five seasons, Choo has been a much better player than Ludwick, and Choo is coming off of a year in which he was worth 5.2 WAR to a team that won 90 games."

"Re-signing Choo is the Reds' best chance of competing with the Cardinals and Pirates. Without him, third place seems quite possible."

Basically, Swydan is saying that Ludwick isn't really all that great anyways, and coming off shoulder surgery it can probably be expected that he will continue to show quite a decline in performance. Even if Ludwick was not bother by the shoulder, Choo is still a lot better than him.

The Cardinals have had arguably one of the best offseasons of any team, though the Pirates have done little to nothing. I could argue they've done less than nothing by signing Edinson Volquez, but that's none of my business. The Pirates do still have National League MVP Andrew McCutchen, a rotation that will compete, and a solid bullpen, while the Reds are still looking to replace the spots vacated by Choo and Bronson Arroyo, whether it's with the same names or different ones. The Reds seem to have the most work left to do no doubt.

Even though Cincinnati desperately needs a player like Choo, its seems more than highly unlikely that a team, who constantly reminds its fans it doesn't have any available funds, will be able to pay him. Rather, fans should hope and pray that speed demon Billy Hamilton develops into an above average major-leaguer in a hurry or that the Angels somehow fall for a Brandon Phillips-for-Mike Trout swap and Trout signs the team-friendliest deal ever.

For the record, Swydan argues that the Baltimore Orioles need Choo the most because they don't really even have a starting left fielder. He also placed the Texas Rangers and Detroit Tigers in third and fourth place respectively behind the Reds.

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