LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. – Outfielder Shin-Soo Choo, the best remaining player on the free-agent board, has the information he needs to make a decision, his agent, Scott Boras, said Wednesday afternoon.
While Choo has not attended the winter meetings here, he previously met with a handful of teams, some in Arizona and others, including several members of the Texas Rangers’ front office and field staff, at or near Boras’ offices in Newport Beach, Calif.
As of early evening Wednesday, the Rangers did not have an agreement with Choo.
The market would appear to have thinned in recent days for Choo. The Detroit Tigers signed Rajai Davis, presumably to set up a platoon with Andy Dirks in left field. The Seattle Mariners signed Corey Hart and traded for Logan Morrison. Choo’s former team, the Cincinnati Reds, suggested the bidding for Choo, 31, had become too rich for them, particularly if they could not move Brandon Phillips. The Arizona Diamondbacks traded for Mark Trumbo. Before that, the New York Yankees signed both Jacoby Ellsbury and Carlos Beltran.
Boras said the market remained robust, however, and includes clubs that are in the early stages of building along with those expected to contend in 2014.
Certainly, a team could sign Choo with the intention of clearing an outfield spot for him later.
Speculation has Boras seeking a contract worth well more than $100 million for Choo, who was among the National League leaders in runs and on-base percentage last season, handled center field, and finished 12th in NL MVP balloting.
“He’s really a player who is revered,” Boras said.
As for clubs that say they don’t have enough in their budget to add Choo, Boras grinned and said, “Budgets are a human design rather than a physical barrier.”
He added that many of his recent negotiations have been with team owners rather than their general managers.