The Red Sox are facing a few offseason questions, one of which involves their center field situation. The club must decide who will fill the void left by Jacoby Ellsbury, who reportedly agreed to a seven-year contract with the Yankees on Tuesday.
The Sox could hand the keys to up-and-comer Jackie Bradley Jr., who got his first taste of big league action in 2013, or they could explore free-agent outfield options. The Red Sox have been linked to Carlos Beltran a few times this offseason, and according to the Boston Herald’s Michael Silverman, Boston is taking a close look at Shin-Soo Choo.
Signing Beltran is beginning to seem less likely given his desire for a three-year deal. ESPN’s Buster Olney reported earlier this week that Beltran had a three-year, $48 million offer in hand, and WEEI.com’s Alex Speier later reported that the Red Sox were unlikely to pursue a three-year deal for the 36-year-old.
Choo is an interesting name because of his on-base ability. He posted a .423 on-base percentage in 2013, including a sensational .457 mark against right-handers. Choo also hit .285 with 21 homers and 54 RBIs in his first season with the Reds.
Reports linking Choo to the Red Sox should be taken with a grain of salt, though. As Speier notes in a later piece, Choo’s asking price could be in the same ballpark as Ellsbury’s reported seven-year, $153 million deal. Given that the Red Sox were unwilling to make that type of commitment for Ellsbury, who they reportedly viewed as a superior option, it’s reasonable to assume that they won’t overexert themselves to land Choo.
Photo via Flickr/Keith Allison