With a reported price tag of seven years and $140 million, according to Bob Nightengale of USA Today, free-agent outfielder Shin-Soo Choo has likely become too expensive for most teams in the majors. While this could actually push his asking price back down and give the Cincinnati Reds a better chance of re-signing him, it sounds like they're ready to move on to other options.
In reference to the All-Star outfielder, Reds general manager Walt Jocketty didn't seem too hopeful when asked about Choo at last week's winter meetings:
Walt on Choo - ‘i think we have to move on’— ctrent (@ctrent) December 11, 2013
The Reds' inability to trade second baseman Brandon Phillips to free up payroll space likely hasn't helped the cause, says Jon Heyman of CBS Sports, but handing out a contract in excess of $100 million to any player over the age of 30 is a risk regardless of how affordable it is for the organization.
Having a solid backup option in place would make the Reds' decision not to pursue Choo, who posted an .885 OPS with 21 homers and 20 stolen bases in his lone season with the club, that much easier.
Here's a look at the team's in-house option, three potential trade targets and one free agent that could step in and take over as the new Reds center fielder in 2014.