Shin-Soo Choo says DUI arrest has led to struggles at plate

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Here’s an interesting note from the Associated Press concerning the recent offensive struggles of Indians right fielder Shin-Soo Choo:

Choo believes he is thinking too much and trying too hard to make a good impression since he was charged with drunken driving.

The note is not accompanied by any kind of quote from Choo, so we’ll just have to assume that the Korean-born outfielder has indeed expressed that DUI-related frustration to reporters. The numbers certainly add up.

Choo was arrested on May 2 for driving under the influence of alcohol outside downtown Cleveland. He blew a .201 blood-alcohol level in a state where the legal blood-alcohol limit is .08. Since that arrest, the 28-year-old outfielder has hit just .233/.316/.320 with one home run and seven RBI in 27 games. He has struck out 30 times and drawn just 10 walks in that span. This from a guy who still owns a superb .857 career OPS.

Choo is batting sixth in the Indians’ lineup Sunday for the first time this season. He normally bats third.

There is a “one million percent” chance Aroldis Champan will opt-out of his deal

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Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic reports that there is a “one million percent” chance Yankees closer Aroldis Chapman will opt out once the season ends.

Just going by the math this makes perfect sense, of course.

Chapman signed a five-year, $86 million deal with the Yankees before the 2017 season. Pursuant to the terms of the deal he’ll make $15 million a year in 2020 and 2021 (he was given an $11 million signing bonus that was finished being paid out last year). This past season the qualifying offer was $17.9 million. Craig Kimbrel of the Cubs just signed a deal that will pay him $16 million in 2020, 2021, and 2022 (he’s making a prorated $16 million this year). Other top closer salaries at the moment include Kenley Jansen ($19,333,334); and Wade Davis ($18 million).

It’s fair to say that Chapman fits into that group and, I think it’s safe to say, more teams would take him than those guys if they were all freely available. As such, Chapman opting out to get more money makes all kinds of sense. Heck, opting out, getting slapped with a qualifying offer, accepting it and then hitting the market unencumbered after the 2020 season would stand him in better financial stead than if he didn’t opt-out in the first place.

The question is whether the Yankees will let it get that far or whether they’ll approach him to renegotiate the final couple of years on the deal or to add some years onto the back of it. If they’re smart they will.