Jon Heyman reports that Shin-Soo Choo is going to be on the market this winter. Why?
Indians general manager Chris Antonetti said they have tried to extend Choo “multiple times” over the past few years, to no avail. Antonetti was asked how much reception he’s gotten to the possibility of a multiyear deal, and the GM answered candidly, “None.”
Choo is a Boras client, he hits free agency after 2013 and there is no way in hell that a Boras client who is appealing to multiple other teams, as Choo no doubt is, would sign a multi-year deal with a team that has zero recent history of free agent largess. He’s as good as gone, either this winter or by the deadline next season.
After stumbling in 2011 due to injury and personal problems, Choo is hitting .286/.369/.489 with 15 homers, 49 RBI and 15 stolen bases in 118 games. That’s not the stuff of nine-figure deals, obviously, but he’s definitely going to have suitors.
The Mets signed left-hander Matt Purke to a minor league deal, the team announced Friday. Purke will also receive an invitation to spring training, where he could presumably beef up the club’s left-handed relief options alongside Jerry Blevins and Josh Smoker.
Purke has not appeared in the majors since 2016, when he was used in a dozen relief appearances by the White Sox. The 27-year-old racked up a 5.50 ERA, 6.0 BB/9 and 7.5 SO/9 in his first 18 innings with the team, and was demoted to Triple-A Charlotte in June to finish out the season. He spent the entire 2017 season in Triple-A as well, showing more promise with a 3.84 ERA, 3.8 BB/9 and 11.0 SO/9 in 48 appearances.
While Purke may not amount to much more than a depth piece in New York’s ‘pen, the veteran lefty figures to be part of the Mets’ new bullpen-first strategy next year. Reports from MLB.com’s Anthony DiComo indicate that the club will be focusing on improving their relief options in order to ease the workload of their starting pitchers, and will likely add a few more arms before the offseason comes to a close.