Yankees: Nobody’s talking about this potential alternative to Brett Gardner
Why is nobody connecting the Yankees to Shin-Soo Choo in free agency?
Yankees fans: do you want a lefty bat? Do you need a lefty bat?
And do you need it to be Brett Gardner?
Brian Cashman, in his flame-fest last week, sounded surprisingly less than enthusiastic about a reunion with Gardner. Likely, he knows the outfielder will command $5-6 million, which would remove all the Yankees’ budgetary wiggle room. Gardner prefers to wrap his career in pinstripes and is banking on emotion, but we can’t always get what we want. So, it is it possible the Yankees reinforce their lefty-lacking bench elsewhere?
Despite what you’ve heard (radio silence), Shin-Soo Choo remains on the market after seven productive seasons in Texas with the Rangers, and the 38-year-old appears committed to playing Major League Baseball this year, if possible; he’s been connected to the Phillies in recent weeks.
So why isn’t anyone talking about the Yankees as a potential fit for the possible platoon bat? Especially considering this administration has previously been infatuated with him.
Hey, here’s a very unfortunate tweet you probably don’t want to read. But I’m putting it here anyway!
Yikes. That…that whole thing.
Why would the Yankees opt for Brett Gardner over Shin-Soo Choo?
If you recall, Choo could’ve prevented the Jacoby Ellsbury Experiment from ever becoming a reality had the patient and productive power bat taken the Yankees’ money instead between 2013 and 2014.
Choo instead accepted a seven-year, $130 million deal from the Texas Rangers, a development that we, personally, find hurtful, especially considering that’s technically a discount from what the Yankees reportedly offered him.
During those seven years, the dependable Choo OBP’d .340 in a “down” year of 123 games the season after inking that contract before righting the ship to a steady pace. Ironically, Ellsbury seemed to be the better addition in ’14 (149 games played to 123 for Choo, 16 homers, and 70 RBI).
The other six years of Choo’s deal? Four seasons hovering around .260 with over 20 homers each, a season shortened by injuries, and…well, 2020.
At the age of 38, Choo is a lefty bat teetering on the brink of still being consistently effective; last season, in just 50 games, he posted a 111 OPS+ against righties and a dismal 62 against same-siders.
The variance is lower than it would be in a potential Brett Gardner reunion and the defense is a downgrade, but so is the cost.
We’re not stunned the Yankees haven’t opted to reignite talks with Choo. We’re just surprised it’s not being mentioned.