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Report: Shin-Soo Choo rejected a $140 million deal from the Yankees

Dec 18, 2013, 12:30 PM EDT

Shin-Soo Choo Getty Getty Images

This is interesting: Jeff Passan of Yahoo! reports that the Yankees offered Shin-Soo Choo a seven-year, $140 million contract. It reportedly came after the Yankees signed Jacoby Ellsbury for $153 million. Passan says Choo’s agent, Scott Boras, countered for more money, after which the sides parted ways and the Yankees pivoted to Carlos Beltran.

That’s a lot of confidence on Choo and Boras’ part, but given that there is no one approaching Choo’s level on the market right now, Boras must believe that there is more money out there. One possibility — as odd as it sounds — is Houston.  Go check out Passan’s piece for the details.


  1. proudlycanadian - Dec 18, 2013 at 12:33 PM

    Can’t blame the no beard policy for Choo’s decision.

    • km9000 - Dec 18, 2013 at 4:27 PM

      Or it could be that he so strongly believes that the freedom to grow a beard is the right of all sentient beings.

  2. seahawks80 - Dec 18, 2013 at 12:35 PM

    Boras is a greedy pig

    • alang3131982 - Dec 18, 2013 at 12:41 PM

      Oh no, someone doing their job is a greedy pig, not owners that earn a ton of money, get subsidized stadiums and created a system where they pay the most talented and exceptional individuals pennies.

      Yes, the agent –who is hired by a client to get him the deal he wants — is the greedy one.

      • felser - Dec 18, 2013 at 1:22 PM

        Not that I love the owners, but those are a LOT of pennies they’re paying the “most talented and exceptional individuals”.

      • skids003 - Dec 18, 2013 at 1:23 PM

        “Pennies?” 1,000,000,000 pennies is a lot of pennies.

      • alang3131982 - Dec 18, 2013 at 1:35 PM

        Mike Trout is making how much? It’s pennies compared to the billions they are making out of baseball players under the age of 25. Maybe it’s somehow made up for by overpaying 38 year olds. But player salaries, i believe, amount to less than half of base ball’s revenues last year, which is crazy considering the amount of players required to make baseball viable.

  3. nymets4ever - Dec 18, 2013 at 12:41 PM

    People who hate Scott Boras are either clueless about what an agent’s job is, or are just anti-capitalism.

    • pastabelly - Dec 18, 2013 at 4:08 PM

      Players sign with Scott Boras for a reason and that is maximum dollar contracts. There are other agents for players who aren’t interesting in just going to the highest bidder. Boras probably couldn’t work with Dustin Pedroia.

      • bigharold - Dec 18, 2013 at 5:05 PM

        ” Boras probably couldn’t work with Dustin Pedroia.’

        I really like Pedroia but lets not go too far out on the limb about that “love of the game, .. home team discount” stuff. It was pure economics.

        Pedroia signed the deal he did because he’d have been two years older by the time he got to free agency. Two years of hurling himself all over the field and perhaps a couple more trips to the DL. Not to mention, that Pedroia found himself locked up until his early 30s because he signed a deal to get salary increases faster at the cost of delaying FA. So, by playing it safe and locking in $40 mil over 6 years rather than becoming a FA at 28 he was going to be a FA at the age of 32, .. big difference. He essentially did the same thing with the extension. Rather than wait and see what he might get at FA, he locked up $110 mil that will take him to the end of his career. Perhaps had he had Boris representing him, he would have never signed the deal that put off free agency until he was on the wrong side of 30.

        He played it safe so he’ll only make $150 mil during his career rather than $175 mil. But spare me the stuff about Boras could work for Pedroia. His strategy was based on pure economics, business and pretty good logic too.

    • aceshigh11 - Dec 18, 2013 at 5:30 PM

      No, I’m very liberal (NOT anti-capitalist) and I think Boras does his job very well.

      I think people look at the amount of money athletes are paid, and they’re repulsed in a knee-jerk fashion simply because they’re “playing a kid’s game” (as is commonly said).

      But really, the dynamic between athletes and sports ownership is no different than the dynamic between labor and ownership at any other company. The athletes are the ones doing the work and drawing the fans in…the ownership provides the capital, and the “workers” should try to get as much as possible for themselves.

      Just because we’re talking hundreds of millions of dollars for an athlete (versus the billions that pro sports teams owners are worth), doesn’t make the dynamic radically different than between a blue-collar union and ownership.

  4. davidbrentfan - Dec 18, 2013 at 12:42 PM

    He’s about to be 32 years old and he is a poor corner outfielder with declining speed that was never great to begin with. They want a team to pay more than $20 million per year over the course of at least 7 years (likely 8 years), for a guy who can be counted on for around 15-20 HR per year, to go along with poor defense in a corner outfield spot and pretty good speed that is already declining, to go along with a great OBP.

    If he were about to be 29 or even 30, maybe he would be worth it. Not when he is about to be 32.

    • spudchukar - Dec 18, 2013 at 1:09 PM

      He isn’t a poor corner outfielder. Below average in center, sure, but as a corner outfielder he would be an asset. Plus, there are no signs his speed has diminished to any significance. That doesn’t mean a seven year deal for a 32 year old isn’t questionable, but not due to defense or speed.

      • bfunk1978 - Dec 18, 2013 at 1:49 PM

        Not to mention he’s an on-base machine.

      • jrobitaille23 - Dec 18, 2013 at 2:44 PM

        He’s not an asset at the corner outfielder position at all. In center he is a liability. In right he is average at best. He has less than ideal range and gets poor jumps on the ball. I can’t believe 12 people agree with you, they must not watch his bad defense much

      • spudchukar - Dec 18, 2013 at 2:47 PM

        I watch him a lot and do not see what you see.

  5. uyf1950 - Dec 18, 2013 at 12:43 PM

    That decision by Boras/Choo might come back to bite them (Choo) on the butt. Considering he’s a year older than Ellsbury his splits are worse than Ellsbury and his defense and speed aren’t anywhere near as good as Ellsbury. Don’t get me wrong Choo’s OBP and power are better but is that enough of a reason to turn down $20MM per over 7 years? If he gets a beet offer then it was, if he settles for the same offer from the Astros or less from another team then it wasn’t.

    • uyf1950 - Dec 18, 2013 at 12:52 PM

      correction: “better” offer then it was…

      • RoyHobbs39 - Dec 18, 2013 at 1:49 PM

        I like the beet offer. I can imagine a player contemplating “The Yanks offers a higher AAV, but the Astros included fresh beets. Houston, here I come!”

      • dylanthom2013 - Dec 18, 2013 at 6:45 PM

        Who wouldn’t turn down the chance to make lots and lots of borscht?

    • pastabelly - Dec 18, 2013 at 4:22 PM

      Choo is also more durable than Ellsbury. He may wind up “settling” for the same 140/7 with Texas. 140 goes much further in a no income tax state like Texas than it does in NY.

      Every year, it seems like Boras overplays his hand, and in almost every instance (other than Jason Varitek), he gets his guys paid. I’m thinking Drew winds up in a Mets uniform and Choo in a Ranger uniform.

  6. dinofrank60 - Dec 18, 2013 at 12:47 PM

    Sometimes a player has to tell his agent:
    No more harebrained schemes,
    no more greedy ideas,
    no more pitting Team A against Team B.
    Bring me the contract to sign; if you don’t like it, you can leave.

    • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Dec 18, 2013 at 1:11 PM

      It’s the agent’s job to work for the player. If Choo was happy with the offer, then he would have signed. Like how Jered Weaver signed a below market deal with LAA even though Boras is his agent.

      • dinofrank60 - Dec 18, 2013 at 7:10 PM

        The Yankees offer had to be more than what the Reds are paying. Do you really thing Choo is thinking that they can get more or is that Boras telling Choo that he can get more.
        i’m all for Choo getting as much as he can, but who’s going to make a better offer than the Yanks? For seven years???
        Maybe Weaver told Boras how to handle that; not every athlete is like that.

  7. bfriley76 - Dec 18, 2013 at 12:52 PM

    Did anyone else see this and, instead of going the “Boo Boras!” route, think “Do the Yankees have any idea what they’re doing?”

  8. chiadam - Dec 18, 2013 at 1:14 PM

    I understand that he’s a stat darling because he gets on base all the time, but come on. $140 million? For Shin-Soo Choo? OBP is great. I get it. But Choo and Votto are OBP monsters and what did it get the Reds? Sooner or later, enough teams will get burned by one of these mammoth contracts for a guy on the wrong side of 30 and the lunacy will stop. Or slow down. I hope.

    • bendover09 - Dec 18, 2013 at 1:40 PM

      It got the Reds from one of the bottom teams in run scoring to one of the top teams. Soon as they signed Choo

      • Old Gator - Dec 18, 2013 at 2:18 PM


      • jm91rs - Dec 19, 2013 at 3:44 PM

        Are they giving out rings for being one of the top run scoring teams?

    • HFS Richard - Dec 18, 2013 at 1:44 PM

      sadly the Angels are already paying the price and many will say the Yankees have several times, but the contracts like this honestly appear to be the new normal.

      contract values are going up and will continue to go up, same with terms, they’re going to continue to get longer for guys who are on the down hill.

      teams can only continue overpaying for so long until it becomes just “paying” because its now normalized.

    • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Dec 18, 2013 at 3:28 PM

      OBP is great. I get it. But

      No buts. OBP is one of the best measures of a hitter’s value. Quoting from an earlier article because I can’t find the exact tweets: [courtesy of Sky Kalkman]

      An entire team of Joey Votto’s would get 1300 more non-out plate appearances than an average team over the course of a season. 1300 more positive outcomes!

      But Choo and Votto are OBP monsters and what did it get the Reds?

      It got them into the playoffs. Maybe they would have done better offensively if they didn’t put Zack Cosart and his 79 wRC+ in the 2 hole and Brandon Phillips and his 91 wRC+ in the clean up spot?

      • dinofrank60 - Dec 18, 2013 at 6:34 PM

        Jeez, be patient!!!
        All us non-stat, non-Saber fans will soon disappear from the landscape soon enough. Anyone who does not conform will be in such a minority that they won’t say anything… out loud.
        Then everyone’s free to tell you what you saw and if you didn’t see it they will tell you anyway. In fact, it’s better if you don’t see it because you can’t trust your eyes, but you can trust old friends, regression and standard deviation!!!

      • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Dec 18, 2013 at 7:09 PM

        Anyone who does not conform will be in such a minority that they won’t say anything… out loud.

        It has nothing to do with conformity. Only in sports do people willfully ignore advancements in understanding and try to insult those who do. If you went to your doctor and he told you that he believed in leeching and the four elements, would you go see him again? Or a mechanic that doesn’t understand how an engine works?

        If you don’t understand this stuff, it’s fine. There are plenty of us here who will help out. But often when we try, or try to engage in a discussion, we get comments like:

        meatcarroll – Dec 18, 2013 at 5:34 PM
        Sabermetrics are the cancer that is killing baseball. Hate to break it to you, turbo-nerds. Beane deserves being tarred and feathered more than he ever does being enshrined in the Hall of Fame.

        So after 10 years of that, forgive us if we’re a little preachy.

  9. vincentbojackson - Dec 18, 2013 at 2:38 PM

    Can’t blame the guy for trying to cash in. He had an outstanding season in a contract year. At his age, this is his last shot at a big contract. My bet is some team will eventually come with an offer in the $145 million range and a deal will get done.

  10. jerrahsucks - Dec 18, 2013 at 3:26 PM

    Boorass, just figured after ARoid he could always stick it to the Yankees, and they would enjoy it. Glad to see Cashman might have actually grown a pair. Good luck with the 50 win Astos Chin-Soo Poo

    • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Dec 18, 2013 at 3:29 PM

      Boras wasn’t representing Arod when he signed that deal. Good try though.

  11. yournuts - Dec 18, 2013 at 4:24 PM

    If he turned down 20 Million from the Yankees he must be crazy!!!! Is he? I don’t see a higher offer for him.

  12. dylanthom2013 - Dec 18, 2013 at 6:48 PM

    It’s probably wishful thinking but the Rangers are hoping to get him for only 5 or 6 years which is reasonable for a guy who’s going to be 32 next year. That’d be great if we could get him on those terms. Not sure we have a true leadoff guy in either Martin who’s a hacker who doesn’t walk at all or Andrus.

  13. pisano - Dec 18, 2013 at 6:52 PM

    Why would the Yankees give a guy 20mil a yr, for seven years that hits .213 against lefties? I’d have done what they did, sign Beltran for three for 45 mil.

  14. footballchamp - Dec 18, 2013 at 7:15 PM

    This has nothing to do with Boras being considered “evil.”

    Here are the facts. Most pro athletes have a very short window to make the most money. Money that they will use/rely on for the rest of their lives. It’s part of the sacrifice it takes to make to a sport’s top level.

    We as fans follow our teams, and romantically envision that the players in fact love our teams as well. In reality, it’s a job. A fun one, but it’s a job.

    We can’t fault athletes for wanting to maximize their revenue even if that means leaving the team that drafted them, etc.. They only have so many years to make the majority of all their money.

    If Boras and Choo think that there is still a market that will pay them far more than a team has offered, I say go for it.

    • davidbrentfan - Dec 18, 2013 at 8:33 PM

      “Here are the facts. Most pro athletes have a very short window to make the most money.”

      Give me a break. He had already been paid millions and millions of dollars. He could retire right now and be far better off than 99% of working people who put in 40 year careers. I always smile when I see this argument for athletes who have already been paid millions of dollars; people were saying the same thing about Cano, even though the Yankees had already paid him more than $58 million.

    • mantle77777 - Dec 19, 2013 at 11:51 AM

      I don’t blame athletes for wanting to get the most they can. I would do the same. But…I hate that argument that they have a short window to make their lifetime earnings. 20 million dollars is more than most people will earn in their entire lifetime. Everyone has become greedy beyond belief. The owners, the players and we the fans have created this situation by paying for it. To think that a pretty good player, which Soo is, can now make 20 mil plus per year is so ridiculous I don’t think I have words for it. He has never been an All Star. He is not a HOFer or even close to it. He is on the wrong side of 30. And what I say to the Athletes who have burned through their millions a few years after they retired. Go back to school and get a real job like the rest of us.

  15. yournuts - Dec 18, 2013 at 9:39 PM

    Perhaps Seattle will take Choo for 10 Years and 200 Million?

    • davidbrentfan - Dec 18, 2013 at 9:43 PM


  16. bunkerhillbob - Dec 19, 2013 at 2:42 PM

    I’m not sure I believe this rumor. He’d rather get another few million (maybe) and play for the Astros rather than Yankees? Sell this to someone who was born yesterday. He’d be crazy to reject an offer like that.

  17. spc7ray - Dec 19, 2013 at 7:01 PM

    He isn’t worth that much money–5 years at 15 million per year tops!–Jacoby? 5 years at 15 million tops! 153? wrong!

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