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Scott Boras aims for Shin-Soo Choo to top the Jayson Werth deal

Nov 9, 2013, 5:30 PM EDT

Mike Puma of the New York Post reported yesterday that Scott Boras was marketing free agent outfielder Shin-Soo Choo for a contract in the range of $90 million, but ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick hears that he is aiming much, much higher.

That would obviously be an absurd amount of coin for Choo, but as we learned with Werth, it only takes one team to blow away all expectations. Can’t blame Boras for trying. My guess is that he’ll find enough interest to settle somewhere in the middle of those two figures, which will at least get him over the $100 million mark and exceed Hunter Pence‘s recent five-year, $90 million extension with the Giants.

Choo, 31, batted .285/.423/.462 with 21 home runs and 54 RBI over 154 games with the Reds this season. He boasts a .389 career on-base percentage.

  1. djpostl - Nov 9, 2013 at 5:46 PM

    One crappy deal geat another I suppose.

  2. johnnysoda - Nov 9, 2013 at 6:11 PM

    There’s a sucker born every minute I suppose.

  3. David Proctor - Nov 9, 2013 at 6:14 PM

    Other than 2011, Werth has been pretty productive in Washington. That’s not to say he’s worth $126 million, but you better believe that Boras will be pointing out that it doesn’t appear that Werth’s deal will end up being the albatross that it was portrayed to be.

    • unclemosesgreen - Nov 9, 2013 at 7:33 PM

      The Jayson Werth deal will only be brought up by teams looking to drive down Choo’s price. Your assertions are nonsensical & counter-factual.

      Werth’s injury riddled 2012 produced about 80 games with 5 HR’s. he returned value in 2013 but he’s 35 next season & they’re on the hook for 4 more seasons.

      If his contract isn’t quite an albatross it’s certainly a cautionary tale. Terrible contract. Just awful.

      • David Proctor - Nov 9, 2013 at 7:43 PM

        He also hit .300, had a .400 OBP and helped lead the team to the National League East crown. His power was sapped because of his injury–which came on a broken wrist, not a natural injury, by the way. I think they’re just fine with paying him.

      • unclemosesgreen - Nov 9, 2013 at 8:47 PM

        Wow – you’re totally drunk on the Kool-Aid. BTW – he broke his wrist making a sliding catch – not on a HBP. Totally ‘natural’ injury and representative of the kinds of injuries that pile up as a player gets older. 4 more years for $83 million. He’ll be 38 when he gets that last $21. You think those shaven monkeys in the Nats’ front office will still be “happy” to pay it?

      • Reflex - Nov 10, 2013 at 3:52 AM

        Given the rate salaries have risen, especially for anyone with power, I do not think the deal will look ridiculous at the end. Also, like most players I’m sure they had him insured and recovered most of his salary for the time he was lost to injuries. So again, not money down the drain.

      • unclemosesgreen - Nov 10, 2013 at 9:28 AM

        Sure – because that’s what every GM wants – 38 year old OF’s in the no-DH league for $21 million. You’re just still sore that I called you on your pathetic, embarrassing level of sycophancy. Get a grip, stop being so reflexive.

      • Reflex - Nov 10, 2013 at 1:29 PM

        You were responding to Mr Proctor. I simply noted the discussion and pointed out why I thought you might be off base. An ‘average’ outfielder these days seems to go for around ten mil. Werth, even now, is well above that baseline. Given the rapid rise of player salaries, 21 mil does not sound terrible in another four years, and it is likely that at *worst* he is average by then. Average will be paid more than it is paid today as well.

        Yes, every GM wants a superstar in every position being paid peanuts. Free Agency means they do not all get it. It also means that they pay more for some years than a player is worth, and less in others. Werth this past season was well worth his salary, in fact I’d argue he was underpaid During his injury times it is likely insurance picked up most of his salary, so that was not much of a loss either. While he may not be worth the salary at the end of the deal it is unlikely to be a dramatic overpay, and its part of what it cost to get him for years like 2013 where he was likely underpaid.

        I’m getting the feeling you do not understand baseball economics very well. Yes, most players have years where they are not worth their contract. Most have years where they are worth way more than their contract. Some deals are foolish of course, and I do not think the Werth deal was a great one. But its not some Zito-like albatross that will not even be worth a fraction of what is paid. At worst it is on track to be a slight overpay, but made at a time when it was impossible to get free agents to sign in Washington without overpaying them.

      • pchuck69 - Nov 11, 2013 at 10:37 AM

        Your point?

        Torii Hunter will be 39 next year and David Ortiz will be 37 and they both make much more than Werth.

      • unclemosesgreen - Nov 11, 2013 at 10:44 AM

        Papi & Torii are both making $13 million this year in the last year of 2-year contracts. Werth is making $83 million over the next 4 years. Do math much?

  4. thomas844 - Nov 9, 2013 at 7:29 PM

    Well, the Reds can kiss him goodbye.

  5. thebadguyswon - Nov 9, 2013 at 7:41 PM

    Wow….have fun with that _________ .

  6. Old Gator - Nov 9, 2013 at 7:41 PM

    Gezundheit!

  7. onbucky96 - Nov 9, 2013 at 8:08 PM

    Ha ha ha ha ha! Satan Boras strikes again! Who’s the sucker gonna be this year Satan? A mystery team I bet, as usual. Or dare I say if you don’t get what you want, you’ll cry crocodile tears and scream collusion?

    • Old Gator - Nov 10, 2013 at 12:03 PM

      Only the ass is immortal, Choo (gezundtheit!), and yours…belongs…to me.

  8. tfbuckfutter - Nov 9, 2013 at 8:42 PM

    I’m not sure I even understand the market anymore….

    Can we maybe get some updates on players who aren’t “worth” $90+ million?

    Or are there just not any?

  9. pisano - Nov 9, 2013 at 8:42 PM

    Good luck with that Scott.

  10. zurnvs - Nov 9, 2013 at 8:50 PM

    He won’t get thar from the Reds, so who’s team will Scott screw?

  11. raynman49 - Nov 9, 2013 at 9:40 PM

    No wonder I can’t afford to go to a game anymore. Sheesh.

    • Kevin S. - Nov 9, 2013 at 10:18 PM

      No, you can’t afford to go to the game because people generally are willing to pay the going prices.

      • tfbuckfutter - Nov 9, 2013 at 10:33 PM

        Production costs effect consumer pricing before demand does.

        Thus, player salaries (and overhead) are bigger factors in increasing ticket prices than consumer demand is.

        Beyond that the teams can set the ticket prices at whatever they like because a professional sports team operates as a monopoly, and the price elasticity of demand isn’t even close to reaching diminishing returns.

        So the owners are greedy, the players are paid too much, but the entire model is what is screwing over fans (doubly so, since most teams cover a good chunk of overhead with taxpayer funds….so you get the pleasure of paying for games you can’t afford to go to anyway).

      • Kevin S. - Nov 9, 2013 at 10:51 PM

        Except the relevant “production costs” for a baseball team are stadium operations, not player salaries. When it comes to setting prices in an attempt to hit a certain supply, player salaries are effectively a fixed cost, which makes them irrelevant beyond the decision of whether or not to operate.

      • tfbuckfutter - Nov 9, 2013 at 11:11 PM

        Player’s salaries are not a fixed cost. They are variable from year to year because the roster changes from year to year, and it thus has an effect on ticket pricing (the weight of which is obviously debatable) because ticket pricing is set year to year, based on production costs.

        And I’m not sure what you mean by “hitting a certain supply” since the supply isn’t even remotely variable. Which is why professional sports is such a messed up system. Supply can’t be increased, so only cost can be increased to suppress demand, but it’s also operating as a monopoly so it is a system whereby cost has to increase to ridiculous heights before demand is suppressed.

        Of course, this doesn’t necessarily apply to all markets, because some teams have supply far outweighing demand….however, you don’t see the cost of those tickets decreasing, do you? So your comment that people are willing to pay “going rate” isn’t actually accurate because “going rate” isn’t actually determined by the local markets.

        And in those markets, what do you see happen as far as payroll goes? Are these teams paying $126,000,000 for a good but not top-tier commodity?

        Of course not. Because they don’t have the available cash to do it, because the people aren’t paying the ticket prices they are asking (again, I recognize the model isn’t normative and has shifted heavily in recent years because broadcasting revenue exceeds gate revenue)….

        So yes, inflating player salaries do, and always have, effected ticket prices, even if the weight is decreasing because of new and more lucrative revenue streams….

    • indaburg - Nov 10, 2013 at 6:37 AM

      I don’t know where you live or your rooting interest, but this discussion made me curious about MLB ticket prices. I found this: http://news.cincinnati.com/assets/AB20330243.PDF

      It lists the 2013 ticket prices for all MLB teams. The average price according to the chart for the non-premium tickets across all of MLB was $27.48. This is not including extras like parking, meals, or beverages. A few teams showed decreases in prices but overall ticket prices went up 1.8%. The prices ranged from a high of $55.38 for the Red Sox (not surprising, little stadium, few seats, high demand, higher prices) to a low of $15.99 for the San Diego Padres (surprised me–I thought everything in California is expensive–what do I know?). I would have thought the Rays with their attendance woes would be the lowest. Seeing this wide range of prices, I know I would have a difficult time attending as many games as I do now if I lived in a higher priced market.

      If you’re interested in what it costs to bring a family of four: “The Fan Cost Index average is $208.01, a 0.1 percent increase. The FCI is created by combining four non-premium tickets, two beers, four soft drinks, four hot dogs, parking, two programs and two adult-size hats.” Sometimes I leave my little one at home to save money. When I go with a friend, I’m a cheap date–a hot dog and beer, and I’m happy, but I need to buy Cracker Jacks, ice cream, hot dogs, cotton candy, a lemonade, and a souvenir to keep a 4 year old entertained for 9 innings.

  12. steelers88 - Nov 9, 2013 at 9:40 PM

    Choo is a good player and all but his not worth more the 126 million. What team would pay over 126 million for Choo? The Dodgers, Yankees, or Red Sox? Thats about it.

    • Honeycutt - Nov 9, 2013 at 10:01 PM

      No way Sox sign Choo. For that price they could have Elsbury. Sadly, they won’t sign him either.

  13. jamson64 - Nov 9, 2013 at 10:25 PM

    I cannot believe all the Werth defenders. Heck the guy has NEVER had 100 RBIs ever. What a stupid stupd contract that was.

    • tfbuckfutter - Nov 9, 2013 at 10:43 PM

      Dusty Baker everybody!

    • indaburg - Nov 10, 2013 at 6:12 AM

      You’re right, it was a bad contract, but your reason–insufficient RBI–is wrong. Not a perfect analogy, but RBIs : Hitter :: Wins : Pitcher.

  14. Matt B - Nov 10, 2013 at 12:53 AM

    And the mariners spend in 3…2…1.

  15. bleedgreen - Nov 10, 2013 at 5:40 AM

    He tried to get a huge deal for Madson too. How did that work out?

    • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Nov 10, 2013 at 1:57 PM

      Is this where we point out all the huge deals he did get? Or does one person not signing negate all of that?

  16. uyf1950 - Nov 10, 2013 at 8:38 AM

    He aims, he shoots, he misses.

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