2013 MLB Winter Meetings: Detroit Tigers Should Sign Shin-Soo Choo

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2013 MLB Winter Meetings: Detroit Tigers Should Sign Shin-Soo Choo
Jared Wickerham/Getty Images

"The ideal situation is Andy Dirks would play like he did two years ago," Detroit Tigers general manager Dave Dombrowski told MLive.com's Chris Iott on Wednesday. "We think he's a good big-league player."

No. Just no.

The Tigers have made several key moves this offseason to bolster a roster that has been on the doorstep of a championship for the last three years.

One more addition could get Detroit in the door.

After getting his first shot as the everyday left field starter last season, Dirks hit .256 with nine home runs and 37 RBI in 131 games.

The 27-year-old did hit .322 with an .857 OPS in 2011, but those numbers are from a much smaller sample size of 88 games.

The list of capable outfielder free agents has severely dwindled over the past week, with Carlos Beltran and Curtis Granderson signing with the New York Yankees and New York Mets, respectively.

While Dirks would be by far the least expensive option, the Tigers need someone in the lineup to try to replace the 36 home runs and 161 RBI that departed stars Jhonny Peralta and Prince Fielder combined for last season. Shin-Soo Choo seems like the best available option.

Last Tuesday, Mark Feinsand of the New York Daily News tweeted a report that Choo is at the top of the Tigers' list for a left-handed bat and last outfield addition.

In his first and only season with the Cincinnati Reds in 2013, Choo hit .285 with 21 home runs and 54 RBI in 154 games.

While Choo didn't have much success last season against left-handed pitching, he destroyed righties, going .317 with a .457 on-base percentage.

Choo is a career .288 hitter who averages 20 home runs and 81 RBI over a 162-game season, and he did most of that damage for bad Cleveland Indians teamsespecially in 2010 and 2012.

Beyond his work at the plate, Choo has a lot of value in other areas of the field.

He's stolen at least 20 bases in four of the last five seasons and has a tremendous outfield arm. While he sometimes takes poor routes to balls in the outfield, he makes up for it with a lot of speed and a cannon for an arm.

The Tigers badly need some speed at the top or in the middle of the lineup, especially with all the traffic that is usually on the base paths.

The 31-year-old made $7.375 million last year with the Reds and rumors have Choo making upwards of $10 million per year in his next deal. But if the Tigers can talk him into a contract of three years for around $25 million, I'd consider that a win.

The Tigers have taken steps to consistently solidify several positions of need so far this offseason, but the left field spot has yet to be addressed.

Signing Choo would take care of a lot of problems in Detroit.

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