The Disappointment Zone

Musings from a Cleveland sports fan

Broussard heading West!

Posted by disappointmentzone on 26 July 2006

But not to Los Angeles. Instead, Broussard has been traded to the Seattle Mariners for AAA OF Shin-Soo Choo. In addition to having an abolutely fantastic name, Choo, 24, is a left-handed hitting AAA All-Star. This season he’s hit .323 (121-375) with 21 doubles, three triples, 26 stolen bases (in 30 attempts) and 12 home runs, all while driving in 94 runs. in 2004 Baseball America had Choo as the third rated prospect in the Mariners organization, behind only Felix Hernandez and Jeremy Reed. Last year he was number seven. Of course, one repectable Mariners fan site had Choo as the second best prospect in the organization. So, who know how good he projectst to be.

In addition to his ability as a batter, Choo has a cannon for an arm, which should go a long way in our outfield. He doesn’t have the range to play center, which isn’t a problem because the Indians have Sizemore. More likely he’ll play RF, which puts the Indians in a bit of a pickle when it comes to Casey Blake for next season. Choo has also replaced Broussard on the roster, meaning the Indians have Victor Martinez as a 1B right now. Most likely this means that against right-handed pitchers Choo will play RF while Blake plays first and Victor catches. In other words, Blake will take over the platoon role of Broussard at first, and be replaced in the OF by Choo, who will essentially be platooning with Blake. Against lefties Blake will play RF, Victor will play 1B, and Shoppach will catch. It’s a good thing Blake can play a number of positions. There are financial considerations for this trade as well. Broussard was up for arbitration after this season. Trading him today means the Indians probably saved $6+ million dollars. Even if Choo remains on the 25 man roster for the rest of the season he still won’t have 120 days of service time, meaning no Super Two situation, which means minimum salary through 2009.

The downside is that Choo doesn’t hit lefties well yet. His OPS is only .504 against them. But his BABIP against lefties this season is .268, which is considerably below average, meaning that he has been unlucky against lefties when he puts the ball in play. This, in turn, leads to a lower OPS. So there’s hope. Against righties, however, his OPS is a robust 1.013. For the moment at least Choo is a good platoon player who might be able to develop into an everyday right fielder. Which means that Jason Michaels–who only hits lefties, albeit pretty well–will be back with the team next season.

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