Tag:Shin-Soo Choo
Posted on: November 12, 2010 10:16 am

Indians can't afford Westbrook, but call anyway

Jake Westbrook The Indians have talked to free-agent right-hander Jake Westbrook about returning to Cleveland, the Plain Dealer 's Paul Hoynes writes .

However, a return to Cleveland seems unlikely, as new Indians general manager Chris Antonetti has been given the charge of cutting payroll from $61.5 million at the start of 2010 to somewhere between $40-$50 million.

The Indians are committed to $26.6 million to three players for 2011 -- Travis Hafner, Grady Sizemore and Fausto Carmona and have six players eligible for arbitration -- Shin-Soo Choo, Asdrubal Cabrera, Jensen Lewis, Chris Perez, Rafael Perez and Joe Smith.

If the Indians tender contracts to all six, well, it'll be interesting if they have enough money to fill out the rest of their roster, much less sign a free agent pitcher who is looking for a two-year deal. Westbrook has reportedly turned down a one-year offer from the Cardinals.

The Denver Post 's Troy Renck says the Rockies are interested in Westbrook, as well.

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.

Posted on: November 11, 2010 12:52 pm
Edited on: November 12, 2010 11:10 am

MLB Facts & Rumors American League MVP

The major baseball awards will be announced next week, and the staff at MLB Facts and Rumors is making our choices this week. Today, David, Evan and Trent name their American League Most Valuable Player selections. As with the BBWAA awards, a first-place vote is worth 14 points, second place nine, third place eight and so forth, with 10th place getting one point.

The American League MVP would have been easy if the season ended int he first week of September, but that's when Josh Hamilton crashed into a wall and broke a few ribs, sidelining him for nearly a month. Was that enough to give Detroit's Miguel Cabrera the MVP? Or was Jose Bautista's 54-homer season good enough to win the honor?


Josh Hamilton David Andriesen
1. Josh Hamilton, Rangers
2. Miguel Cabrera, Tigers
3. Adrian Beltre, Red Sox
4. Jose Bautista, Blue Jays
5. Robinson Cano, Yankees
6. Evan Longoria, Rays
7. Paul Konerko, White Sox
8. Carl Crawford, Rays
9. Shin-Soo Choo, Indians
10. Joe Mauer, Twins

Hamilton led all of baseball in batting average and WAR (wins above replacement), while playing center field and dealing with nagging injuries. Yes, he only played 133 regular-season games, but Joe Mauer won last year with 135. Cabrera was scary good, finishing in the top
three in every Triple Crown category, but Hamilton played better with more on the line.

Evan Brunell
1. JoshHamilton, Rangers
2. Miguel Cabrera, Tigers
3. Jose Bautista, Blue Jays
4. Adrian Beltre, Red Sox
5. Robinson Cano, Yankees
6. Evan Longoria, Rays
7. Shin-Soo Choo, Indians
8. Carl Crawford, Rays
9. Paul Konerko, White Sox
10. Daric Barton, Athletics

Hamilton had a sublime season, leading baseball in batting average (.359) and slugging percentage (.633). In counting stats, his 30 HR and 100 RBI don't exactly blow anyone off the map, but don't forget he missed most of September.

C. Trent Rosecrans
1.  Josh Hamilton, Rangers
2. Miguel Cabrera, Tigers
3. Evan Longoria, Rays
4. Robinson Cano, Yankees
5. Jose Bautista, Blue Jays
6. Felix Hernandez, Mariners
7. Adrian Beltre, Red Sox
8. Shin-Soo Choo, Indians
9. Joe Mauer, Twins
10. Paul Konerko, White Sox

Hamilton missed most of September, but it didn't really mean anything to his team, because he was so good until that point that the Rangers had a cushion. There were other players with really good years, Cabrera and Cano among them, but they were still behind what Hamilton's amazing season. I think Longoria sometimes gets overlooked, but he doesn't deserve the nod over Hamilton. I do find it interesting that I'm the only one with a pitcher listed.

MLB Facts and Rumors American League Most Valuable Player
As good a season as Cabrera had, it's a runaway for Hamilton, who was unanimous in our small poll, followed by Miguel Cabrera and Jose Bautista. That said, expect Cabrera and maybe even Cano to garner first-place votes when the BBWAA announces its winners on Nov. 23, but Hamilton will still likely win by a comfortable margin.

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.

Posted on: October 12, 2010 9:57 pm

Does Choo want to leave Indians?

Shin-Soo Choo A Korean newspaper is reporting that Shin-Soo Choo is hoping to depart the Indians, which general manager Chris Antonetti has rebuffed.

"As with other players, I also want to transfer to a team which wins more," Choo reportedly told the Korea Times . "If I could move to a better team, I could generate a better record and improve more."

Antonetti chose to ignore the remarks, saying he spoke to Choo just prior to the season's conclusion and then spoke to him again on the phone when Choo arrived home in Atlanta. This contradicts Choo's statement that he hasn't "had any contact from the new general manager." However, Choo did imply he would be interested in staying long-term given the team has many young players.

"Choo expressed his passion for winning in Cleveland," Antonetti told the Cleveland Plain Dealer . "I will rely on what Choo told me directly rather than translated comments through a third party."

Despite all this discussion, it's largely irrelevant what Choo wants as the Indians control his rights for three more years and Cleveland would be fools to trade one of the best young outfielders in the game. The 28-year-old hit .300/.401/.484 with 22 home runs in 550 plate appearances. Since he is eligible for arbitration, both sides are discussing a multi-year extension. If that fails, look for both sides to agree to a deal without going to arbitration, something Cleveland has not done since 1991.

For Choo's part, the lefty is not focusing on himself at the moment, but rather his country.

"I will only focus on the Asian Games leaving all the work about any new team to my agent," Choo said.

Winning the Asian Games, set to be played in November in China, is crucial to Choo. If South Korea can win the gold medal, Choo may receive an exemption from having to serve two years in the military. If South Korea bows out, Choo will have to face leaving his country for good to avoid conscription.

-- Evan Brunell

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Category: MLB
Posted on: September 7, 2010 5:08 pm

Asian Games could be big for Choo

Shin-Soo Choo Indians fans may want to cross their fingers that South Korea wins gold medal at the Asian Games in November -- it's their best chance Shin-Soo Choo will be able to avoid his two-year mandatory Army service.

Choo has been named to South Korean's final 24-man roster. If the team wins gold, all the players will likely receive an exemption from military service. All able-bodied South Korean men are required to serve two years in the military by the end of their 30th year. Choo turned 28 in July.

Choo could also chose to simply not return to South Korea and attempt to become an American citizen.

The Indians, MLB.com's Anthony Castrovince writes , are unsurprisingly fully behind Choo's choice to play in the Asian Games.

"As always, with international competition, we leave the decision up to the player," assistant general manager Chris Antonetti told Castrovince. "In Choo's case, he certainly wants to represent his country. Provided there' not an injury or workload concern, we are always in support of international competition."

South Korean, Japan and Taiwan are the favorites in the competition. South Korea won gold in 1998 and 2002, with Chinese Taipei winning in 2006 when the South Koreans took the bronze.

When South Korea won the gold medal at the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games, the entire team was given a waiver from military service. However, Choo was playing in the big leagues at the time and was not a member of that team. Members of the runner-up team in the inaugural World Baseball Classic also got a reprieve from military service, but Choo wasn't on that team, either.

Although the Indians have rarely made as big a deal about Choo's service as fans and media have, a win in the Asian Games would let everyone breathe a little easier.

"it would be," Antonetti said, "the ideal scenario."

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed .

Category: MLB
Posted on: August 3, 2010 9:51 pm
Edited on: August 4, 2010 12:20 am

Benches clear in Sox/Indians game

Adrian Beltre In a season devoid of major bench-clearing incidents, the Red Sox and Indians made things intriguing in the bottom of the eighth inning on Tuesday.

While no punches were exchanged, benches and bullpens cleared after Indians reliever Jensen Lewis popped Adrian Beltre in the back, much to the third baseman's chagrin. Beltre had words for Lewis while the catcher and umpire blocked Beltre's path to first base. As Beltre continued yapping, the benches cleared.

Tempers were hot because Justin Germano had thrown behind David Ortiz in the seventh inning, Ortiz avoiding the plunking by doing a two-step. The Indians were out for blood after Boston had hit two Indians earlier in the game.

In the first, Josh Beckett's inside fastball sailed a little too inside to Shelley Duncan, coming off a four-hit game the night prior. Duncan took first base without incident, but Beckett came back with a heater that drilled Shin-Soo Choo right in the knee in the third inning. Choo was down for a few minutes before taking first.

Things were then quiet until the attempt to bop Ortiz.

Once benches cleared, Beckett -- who was technically still in the game, after having pitched the eighth frame, but whose night was done -- clearly sparked the fire by yelling at various Indians. Duncan then decided to give Beckett some unkind words back, at which point the big John Lackey inserted himself in front of Beckett and Duncan, scowling and looking like an imposing bouncer at the bar.

Players were beginning to separate as umpires attempted to push Boston pitching coach John Farrell back to the dugout. Terry Francona was in the midst of exchanging words with third-base coach Steve Smith. Something really must have stoked Francona's fire, as he suddenly flipped the switch and became furious, causing the umpires to have to intervene and the players to come scurrying back to mill around some more. Francona rarely gets mad at a member of the opposition, and it was a startling sight to see him get so hot under the collar.

"I just got a little aggravated," Francona said after the game. "[I'll] cut back on the Red Bull tomorrow."

The umpires tossed Jensen Lewis from the game, who ended up throwing the single pitch for his night. Smith also joined Lewis in the clubhouse while Beckett was also tossed, which was unimportant as he was already leaving the game. Beckett tossed eight frames, allowing just three hits, zero walks and eight whiffs.

-- Evan Brunell

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter.

Posted on: July 23, 2010 4:22 pm

Indians add Choo, lose Laffey

Aaron Laffey The Indians were happy to welcome back outfielder Shin-Soo Choo on Friday, but the good news was tempered with bad news on left-hander Aaron Laffey.

The return of Choo, out since spraining his thumb July 2, was expected. Laffey going on the disabled list was a bit of a surprise after an MRI on his shoulder came back clean. He was scheduled to start Sunday, but the Indians are hoping extended rest will solve Laffey's "dead arm" issue.

Laffey's fastball, which is usually in the 87-89 mph range, had dropped to the 81-82 range. Laffey said the arm fatigue was a result of being switched from reliever to starter midseason.

"All the stuff I normally experience in Spring Training, I experienced when I went back as a starter [in Columbus in June]," he told MLB.com. "Now, it's just kind of lingering around."

Because of an off day Thursday, the Indians won't need to add a starter until next Tuesday. Justin Masterson will take Laffey's Sunday start on regular rest.

-- David Andriesen

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter.

Posted on: July 18, 2010 4:22 pm
Edited on: July 18, 2010 9:28 pm

Two Indians on comeback trail

Asdrubal Cabrera Finally, something goes right for the 38-54 Indians.

The Indians' offense, while not world-beating at full strength, will welcome back shortstop Asdrubal Cabrera and outfielder Shin-Soo Choo shortly.

Cabrera has been sidelined for over two months after fracturing his right forearm. He has been playing in rehab games and has at least three more Double-A games to cross off his list before he can return to the bigs.

Cabrera hit .287/.322/.368 in 149 plate appearances before biting the dust. He had a career season in 2009, as the then 23-year-old hit .308/.361/.439 in 581 PA.

Joining him on the comeback trail is star outfielder Choo, whose original prognosis had Choo out for up to two months. Instead, he may only miss three weeks.

Choo insisted on going to Double-A for a rehab stint to see live pitching, according to MLB.com, and will do so before rejoining Cleveland for the team's series opener against the Rays on Friday.

-- Evan Brunell

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter.
Posted on: July 6, 2010 8:53 pm

Choo won't need surgery

Shin-Soo Choo
The Indians' Shin-Soo Choo won't need surgery, a hand specialist determined on Tuesday, according to MLB.com's Anthony Castrovince .

That news means the Indians may get the outfielder back sooner than expected. Choo injured his right thumb diving for a ball in Friday's game.

"If you compare his right thumb to his left, there's not any significant difference [in stability]," Indians head trainer Lonnie Soloff told Castrovince. "That leads [Dr. Tomas Graham] to believe Choo can work through this non-operatively."

Choo will wear a brace for a week to 10 days before it is re-evaluated by Graham.

The Indians initially set the timetable at six-to-eight weeks, but stopped short of changing that, even if it looks as if Choo will return before then.

"It's good news," Indians manager Manny Acta said. "We're still going to have to wait 10 days to see where that takes us. But it will be a great boost for us if he doesn't need surgery and we can have him back a lot sooner than we were anticipating."

Choo was a likely All-Star before the injury, hitting .286/.390/.475 with 13 home runs and 43 RBI.

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter.

Category: MLB
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