I Choo Choo Choose You: One Move The Braves Could Make To Win The NL
* disclaimer* The article's title is a Simpsons reference if you didn't get it.
First off, I would like to say how disappointed and yet happy I was with the Yunel trade. I was disappointed that we were unable to maximize Yunel's physical tools, but happy that this trade was made with winning this year in mind.
In this trade, we got a very dependable shortstop in Alex Gonzalez. He is a solid defender, while having an offensively career year. I am all for riding the hot streak while we can. I wish the best to Escobar, but it became clear that he was no longer welcome in Atlanta.
Secondly, I still believe The Braves are one trade away from being the NL's representative in the World Series. We must trade for Shin-Soo Choo. First off, he is going to be first time Arbitration eligible after this season, and under team control for at least 3 more seasons. He would not be an easy target and does come with risk, (he is currently on the DL with a thumb injury, and may have military obligations to his homeland of South Korea, but may also be exempt from them) but when you see all the things he does on a baseball field, it's worth it.
He would become the perfect #2 hitter behind Prado. He has a high on base percentage, career .387 clip, while he also has plenty of power, slugging a .487 clip. He combines power, speed, discipline and great defence. There are countless statistics I could show you to tell you how much of a professional ball player Choo is, but when it comes down to it, WAR is the broadest all encompassing one. I will use www.baseball-reference.com's statistics, last year Choo was a 6.2 WAR, this year he has a 3.3 WAR at the All Star break. To put that into perspective, the Braves only have two players with over a 2.0 WAR, McCann 2.5, and Prado 2.2.
Now, let's look at a potential lineup with Choo in the second spot.
2B - Prado
LF - Choo
3B - Chipper
C - McCann
1B - Glaus
RF - Heyward
SS - Gonzalez
CF - Melky/McLouth
Bench: Hinske, Diaz, Infante, Conrad
Now, that is a lineup that could cause damage up and down the lineup. Remember, acquiring Choo, would also take pressure off of Heyward by allowing him to return to the #6 hole, where most of his success this season has occurred. This would also allow Hinske and Diaz to be our pinch hitters matching up with Righty/Lefty late in the game.
Now, hopefully we can all agree Choo would be a fantastic addition to the Atlanta Braves, but here is the painful question....What would it cost to get him?
I think any deal would start with two top pitching prospects, Randall Delgado and Arodys Vizcaino. We would also have to throw in two possible high risk/high reward position players, Jordan Schafer and Adam Milligan, in my opinion.
I realize that this is a lot, but you gotta give to get, and Choo would get us to a World Series in my opinion, so I for one Choo Choo Choose him.
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