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 Long-term deal for Choo seems unlikely

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PostSubject: Long-term deal for Choo seems unlikely   Wed Dec 08, 2010 8:06 pm

Long-term deal for Choo seems unlikely
By Jordan Bastian / MLB.com | 12/08/10 3:58 PM EST

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- Any hope that the Indians were in the midst of quietly negotiating a contract extension with star outfielder Shin-Soo Choo was shattered on Wednesday afternoon.

Agent Scott Boras, who represents Choo, declined to offer specifics on contract talks involving multiple players and teams. When asked about Choo, however, Boras made it clear that he has had no discussions with Indians general manager Chris Antonetti about a long-term deal for the outfielder.

Boras added that he did not expect to discuss the matter at the Winter Meetings.

"I don't think I'll be doing a lot of discussing on those fronts right now," Boras said.

Choo, 28, is eligible for arbitration for the first time this winter, so Antonetti will need to meet with Boras to negotiate a contract with the outfielder later in the offseason. Earlier this week, Antonetti said those circumstances would likely mean talk of an extension would arise naturally.

Boras did not necessarily agree with that take on the situation.

"Most arbitration discussions don't end in multiyear contracts, that's for sure," Boras said. "But, again, I've not had that discussion with Chris yet. When I do, I'll know more about it."

Last season, Choo hit .300 with 22 home runs and 90 RBIs in 144 games. He added 31 doubles, 81 runs scored and 22 stolen bases to go along with a .401 on-base percentage. Choo became the first Indians player since 1901 to have at least a .300 average, 20 homers and 20 stolen bases in consecutive seasons.

Last month, Choo helped guide South Korea to a gold medal in the Asian Games by hitting .571 with three homers and 11 RBIs in five games. That victory earned Choo an exemption from his country's two-year military service requirement.

Through arbitration, Choo could see his salary rise somewhere around the $3 million to $4 million range in 2011 after earning $461,100 last season. If Cleveland does not sign him to a long-term deal, Choo would be eligible for free agency following the '13 season.

Given the Tribe's current situation, Boras said it could be difficult to reach an agreement on a long-term deal. The Indians finished last in baseball in attendance in 2010, are currently scaling back their payroll and plan on fielding a young roster in the upcoming season.

In a perfect world, Cleveland would like to sign Choo beyond his first free-agent year to lock him in as an integral part of the club's core group. Whether that will be possible for the Indians to accomplish remains to be seen.

"That's something that I'm sure Chris and I will sit down and chat about," Boras said. "Again, the dynamics of it are one where that's going to be Shin-Soo's decision about what he may want to do or not do.

"I do think it's tougher -- it's always tougher -- in situations where you're a club that's a developmental team, to know where the club's going to be two or three years from now. So those situations are always a little more difficult.

"But, again, we listen to every team and pass it on to the player and see what he says."


Jordan Bastian is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Major League Bastian, and follow him on Twitter @MLBastian. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.


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PostSubject: Re: Long-term deal for Choo seems unlikely   Wed Dec 08, 2010 8:08 pm

Hope Choo becomes a Tiger... According to Peralta, Choo would like to be united with the Tigers some day.


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