It’s not every day you see someone turning down $20 million per season over a period of 7 years, but if Jeff Passan’s report is true, that is exactly what went down for Shin-Soo Choo and the New York Yankees.
— Chris Cotillo (@ChrisCotillo) December 18, 2013
The above tweet from Chris Cotillo (with a good-natured joke about his own age) references a full report from Yahoo’s Passan, in which he outlines Choo turning down that massive salary from New York. The crazier part of the reported move by Choo and agent Scott Boras is that it actually came after the Yankees had already splurged for another free agent outfielder, Jacoby Ellsbury, for a huge contract of his own.
To be honest, this initially struck me as a weird miscalculation by Boras, but he is probably the only agent in all of sports who could do this and get away with it. Choo was a roughly equivalent player to Ellsbury in overall value this season (according to WAR, at least), but that also takes into account what was a wretched defensive year for Choo (who was playing out of position in Cincy) and from a purely offensive standpoint, the 31-year-old is one of the game’s best.
I’m very, very skeptical that Choo will command anything larger than a $20 million per season salary elsewhere, but at the same time, people betting against Scott Boras usually come up on the wrong end.