Preparing for Robinson Cano‘s impending decision to sign with the Seattle Mariners, the New York Yankees signed Jacoby Ellsbury to a 7-year, $153 million contract, then immediately made a 7-year, $140 million offer to free-agent outfielder Shin-Soo Choo, which he rejected in hopes of getting a little bit more money.
When Choo declined the Yankees’ offer, they pursued Carlos Beltran and signed him to a 3-year, $45 million deal, which is still yet to be announced. Beltran’s introductory press conference is tentatively scheduled for Friday, December 20th.
Choo has been searching for a contract at his price, all while his market appears to be shrinking every day. Jeff Passan of Yahoo! Sports, who first reported the Choo rejection, says that Choo has multiple offers on the table at the moment, though. The Houston Astros, Texas Rangers, Seattle Mariners and Arizona Diamondbacks has been the teams showing the most interest lately.
Choo is the best available player on the market — until Masahiro Tanaka gets posted, if he’ll even be posted — is worth paying a lot of money, but maybe not anything more than the $140 he rejected from the Yanks. A lead-off hitter that can get on base and hit for some power would fill a hole for several teams looking to add an impact bat.
It’ll be interesting to see if Choo ends up landing a contract bigger than what the Yankees offered him.