It's no secret that the Mets are willing to spend this winter, and Andy Martino of the New York Daily News reports that indications from rival executives and a pair Mets officials are that the team will be very interested in Shin-Soo Choo.
One Mets official told Martino, however, that GM Sandy Alderson and his staff aren't particularly interested in entering an aggressive bidding war over the 31-year-old Scott Boras client. Such a bidding war could end up being necessary to acquire Choo's services, given Boras' history and Choo's solid numbers.
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 and sports an overall batting line of .291/.425/.472 with 20 homers and 17 stolen bases.
The Mets would shift Choo back to right field if they were to sign him, Martino reports, due to Juan Lagares' outstanding defense in center field. That's the right call, as Choo grades out as the worst defensive center fielder in baseball, among qualified players, according to both UZR and The Fielding Bible. Those same metrics suggested that Choo was poor in right field in 2012 as well, but historically he's been a serviceable glove in right. Martino adds that Eric Young would likely shift to a fourth outfielder role and notes that the team would like to see Young at second base more as well.
Choo, who ranked fifth on the most recent edition of Tim Dierkes' Free Agent Power Rankings, will also reportedly be pursued by the Cubs this winter. Back in May, Reds GM Walt Jocketty very candidly said that the Reds would love to be able to re-sign Choo but would be hard-pressed to make such a deal work from a financial standpoint.