An interesting note from Jayson Stark today:
Also heard from 2 execs that #Pirates were one of teams on periphery of 4-team trade talks at winter meetings. Had interest in Shin-Soo Choo
— Jayson Stark (@jaysonst) December 11, 2012
That four team deal seems dead, considering James Shields has already been traded. Shields was one of the big names mentioned in the trade, and was just dealt to the Royals. The Indians were one of the four teams rumored to be involved with the discussions.
This isn’t the first time we’ve heard the Pirates linked to Choo. We heard it over the summer, and the expected price for Choo was pretty high. Choo is under team control for one more season, and MLBTR estimates his 2013 contract at $7.9 M. His trade value is a bit difficult to calculate. We have the years of control and estimated salaries, but coming up with the WAR number is tough.
Choo had a 2.6 WAR in 2012 and a 1.5 WAR in 2011. If we go with the 2.6, he’s got a $5.3 M trade value, which is a Grade B hitting prospect. However, Choo had a 5.1 WAR in 2009 and a 6.1 WAR in 2010. Going with the 5.1 WAR gives him a $17.8 M trade value, which would be a top 26-50 hitting or pitching prospect. Either one would be a lot for the Pirates to deal for one year of Choo.
It’s interesting that the Pirates would still be looking at him. They’ve got Starling Marte, Travis Snider, Jose Tabata, and Alex Presley in the outfield next year, with Marte and Snider looking like the favorites for the starting jobs. It seemed like the interest in Choo would have been over after they added Snider for Brad Lincoln over the summer.
UPDATE 3:59 PM: Danny Knobler of CBS Sports reports that the Cincinnati Reds are deep in talks for Choo. To get an idea of the price for Choo, the Reds would be sending Drew Stubbs and shortstop Didi Gregorius, and would receive one other player. Stubbs still has three years of control remaining. He was a 1.3 WAR player in 2012, a 2.6 in 2011, and a 4.0 in 2010. Seems like a pretty steep price for one year of Choo, although we don’t know all of the details. For the Pirates, this means they’re probably not dealing for Choo, but that he’ll probably be playing in the NL Central next year.