COMMENTARY | With outfielder Curtis Granderson having rejected the New York Yankees' qualifying offer, thus taking his boom or bust bat to the free-agent market, the Yankees are reportedly targeting either Shin-Soo Choo or Carlos Beltran to replace him.
The Yankees already have four outfielders -- Brett Gardner, Ichiro Suzuki, Alfonso Soriano and Vernon Wells -- under contract for 2014. It isn't clear exactly how Joe Girardi would use them all if GM Brian Cashman added another big-name piece to the outfield puzzle. But, hey, that's not our problem or our mission. Our mission is to spend Hal Steinbrenner's money.
So, let's do that. Given a choice between Choo and Beltran, which outfielder would you like to see in pinstripes? Which one would you spend Hal's money on?
Choo, 31, batted .285 with 21 homers and 54 RBIs in 2013 and had an excellent .423 on-base percentage. Choo also stole 20 bases and scored 107 runs. He is a career .288 hitter with an OPS of .855, and his all-around offensive skills would fit nicely into the Yankee lineup.
There are, however, a couple of issues. Choo, a lefty hitter, is significantly better against right-handed pitching. For his career, his batting average and OPS against righties (.309/.932) is far superior to those numbers against lefties (.243/.680). Choo hit just .199 against lefties in 2011 and .215 in 2012.
The other issue is money. Choo's agent is Scott Boras and Boras' asking price for Choo might be more than the $126 million deal Jayson Werth received from the Washington Nationals.
Beltran will be 37 next season, but his .296/.339/.491 line with 24 home runs and 84 RBIs in 145 games shows that the switch-hitter is still a difference-making hitter. There is also Beltran's penchant for postseason success -- a .333 average with 16 home runs and 40 RBIs in 51 postseason games.
Beltran is a switch-hitter and that is appealing, but his age makes it imperative that if the Yankees do sign him they don't give him the three- or four-year deal he is reportedly seeking. The Yankees have a number of aging players who will need to DH at times, and Beltran would eventually be another -- if he isn't already. A two-year deal would work nicely.
Both are quality players who would help the Yankee lineup, albeit in somewhat different ways. For me, it comes down to length of contract. If Beltran will take a two-year deal, that would be perfect. If signing one of the two players requires a longer deal, I'm spending Hal's money on Choo.
Your thoughts, Yankee fans?
Ed Valentine is editor of Big Blue View, covering the New York Giants for SB Nation. Ed writes about both the Yankees and Giants on Yahoo. Follow him on Twitter @bigblueview.
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