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View Full Version : Hee Seop Choi on waivers. Reds silent, miss chance.



Golgafrinchan
03-24-2006, 06:50 PM
The Dodgers placed Hee Seop Choi on waivers, and he was claimed by the Red Sox.

Given that the Red Sox had a better record than the Reds last year, it implies that the Reds did not place a claim on Choi.

This, in turn, implies one of two things:

1) Reds' management thinks Scott Hatteberg (assuming he will be the starting first baseman) is better than Choi. I really hope this isn't true.

2) Reds' management doesn't want to push Hatteberg to the bench or off the team after signing him to a contract. I guess I'd feel better about this, but not much.

OnBaseMachine
03-24-2006, 07:01 PM
Pure stupidity. Another nice move by the Red Sox.

The Reds had a chance to add a player with 30 homerun potential, good OBP skills, and a good glove...and they pass on him for likes of Scott Hatteberg? Just great.

StillFunkyB
03-24-2006, 07:05 PM
This is absolutely rediculous, unless of course he is injured and it that info hasn't leaked out yet.

Spitball
03-24-2006, 07:26 PM
Hmmm...The Dodgers couldn't deal him. Lots of other teams must have passed also. Granted, not everyone has a hole at first, but...maybe there is more to this than meets the eye.

Doc. Scott
03-24-2006, 07:30 PM
Meanwhile, Seattle has released 2B Fernando Vina. Bet the Reds pick him up.

MattyHo4Life
03-24-2006, 07:31 PM
This is absolutely rediculous, unless of course he is injured and it that info hasn't leaked out yet.

That would imply that the Reds have inside info that the Red Sox do not have.

KronoRed
03-24-2006, 07:32 PM
Meanwhile, Seattle has released 2B Fernando Vina. Bet the Reds pick him up.
He meets all criteria.

Spitball
03-24-2006, 07:33 PM
Choi even had an option left. Why did the Dodgers opt to release the guy? It's not like Nomar is an ironman or signed beyond this year.

IslandRed
03-24-2006, 07:35 PM
If we pick up Vina and release Womack, is that a win or a loss?

KronoRed
03-24-2006, 07:35 PM
If we pick up Vina and release Womack, is that a win or a loss?
It's a kick in the groin or a kick in the head..your choice.

ochre
03-24-2006, 07:37 PM
kick in the head. plz k thx.

jmcclain19
03-24-2006, 07:39 PM
Choi even had an option left. Why did the Dodgers opt to release the guy? It's not like Nomar is an ironman or signed beyond this year.

$$$

Crash Davis
03-24-2006, 07:40 PM
1) Reds' management thinks Scott Hatteberg (assuming he will be the starting first baseman) is better than Choi. I really hope this isn't true.


Could be that the Reds didn't want to spend $750K on a player who just isn't that good.

He's been given the opportunity on several occasions to win the 1B job in Chicago, Miami & LA. One year, he had a good half-season with the Marlins. Other than that, his play has consistently made his managers hesistant to play him...or eager to hand Choi's playing time to a few less than ideal hitters.

Is Narron going to explore territory that Baker, Tracy, et al. refused to try? Doubtful.

OnBaseMachine
03-24-2006, 07:46 PM
Could be that the Reds didn't want to spend $750K on a player who just isn't that good.

He's been given the opportunity on several occasions to win the 1B job in Chicago, Miami & LA. One year, he had a good half-season with the Marlins. Other than that, his play has consistently made his managers hesistant to play him...or eager to hand Choi's playing time to a few less than ideal hitters.

Is Narron going to explore territory that Baker, Tracy, et al. refused to try? Doubtful.

They spent 750K on Hatteberg. Choi is younger and better than Hatteberg and was worth picking up, imo.

Crash Davis
03-24-2006, 08:00 PM
They spent 750K on Hatteberg and Choi is younger and better than Hatteberg.

There are a lot of people making decisions for baseball teams who don't believe Choi is a major leaguer.

I think he's just not good enough for hand-wringing. He may be better than Hatteberg, he may not. If I was going to spend 400 ABs on one or the other, it would be Choi. If I wanted a player who can really control the strike zone, pinch-hit and provide veteran leadership (as woy has said: "all those things I'm told I'm not supposed to care about"), then I'm sticking with Hatteberg.

Either way, Choi can be maddening to watch on an everyday basis. The holes in his swing get to be pretty tough to put up with at times...just ask his former managers. You hear a lot of AL player vs. NL player talk around baseball and on these boards. If there is such an animal as an AL player (and I think Scioscia & Ozzie would give you some argument), I think it's Choi. Do you want Choi in your arsenal in a tight ball game? How would you use him?

Narron has announced his intention to give some quality PT to Hatteberg. Hopefully, Krivsky is still looking for options at 1B.

Sea Ray
03-24-2006, 08:02 PM
Just because Choi has more power does not make him a better player than Hatteberg. I don't think Krivsky values the big boppers such as Wily Mo and Choi that Bowden adores. Ditto for the power pitchers that can't find home plate. We've tried Bowden's approach and it ain't been pretty. I'm willing to switch gears and see how Krivsky's approach does.

OnBaseMachine
03-24-2006, 08:08 PM
I think it's Choi. Do you want Choi in your arsenal in a tight ball game? How would you use him?

Narron has announced his intention to give some quality PT to Hatteberg. Hopefully, Krivsky is still looking for options at 1B.

I would use Choi as a starter; give him days off against the tough lefties.

Here are Choi's stats at the Great American Ballpark: .355/.487/.839-1.326 OPS in 39 plate appearances

4 HR/31 AB

I think he would would thrive playing half of his games in the Great American Ballpark. He has managed to put up a .836 OPS the last two years while playing half his games in the pitcher friendly Dodger Stadium and Pro Player Stadium.

Like I said, I value Shealy more than Choi, but Choi>Hatteberg. Let's just hope that Krivsky can land Shealy.

OnBaseMachine
03-24-2006, 08:12 PM
Just because Choi has more power does not make him a better player than Hatteberg.

Nope, but the stats make him better.

Hatteberg 2005-.677 OPS
Career-.759

Choi 2005-.789 OPS
Career-.786

Plus Choi is nine years younger and is much better with the glove.

Big Klu
03-24-2006, 08:59 PM
I've remained silent on the Hee-Seop Choi talk, but I have always thought he has been overrated, first as a Chicago Cub, then as a Florida Marlin, then as a Los Angeles Dodger. Every time he has been dealt, it seems that the team trading him away got the better end of the deal. (Choi to the Marlins for Derrick Lee--advantage Cubs. Choi and Penny to the Dodgers for LoDuca and Encarnacion--advantage Marlins.) It seems to me that a lot of people suddenly fell in love with Choi after he hit the three-run PH homer for Korea against the USA in the World Baseball Classic. He will occasionally tantalize people with his power, but I don't see why he would be the answer at 1B.

We are talking about a career .240 hitter with a career .786 OPS, who averages slightly less than 22 HRs and 66 RBIs per 500 ABs for his career. Of course, he has never gotten more than 343 ABs in a season, and his career high in PAs is 416.


His numbers for the last two seasons are:
2004 -- .251 avg, 15 HR, 46 RBI, .819 OPS
2005 -- .253 avg, 15 HR, 42 RBI, .789 OPS

Very pedestrian numbers for a first baseman. I'm not convinced that Choi is any better than what the Reds already have, but I am sure that there are a lot of guys in MLB who can produce at that level. I certainly wouldn't see him as any kind of long-term solution at 1B.

Falls City Beer
03-24-2006, 09:15 PM
I've remained silent on the Hee-Seop Choi talk, but I have always thought he has been overrated, first as a Chicago Cub, then as a Florida Marlin, then as a Los Angeles Dodger. Every time he has been dealt, it seems that the team trading him away got the better end of the deal. (Choi to the Marlins for Derrick Lee--advantage Cubs. Choi and Penny to the Dodgers for LoDuca and Encarnacion--advantage Marlins.) It seems to me that a lot of people suddenly fell in love with Choi after he hit the three-run PH homer for Korea against the USA in the World Baseball Classic. He will occasionally tantalize people with his power, but I don't see why he would be the answer at 1B.

We are talking about a career .240 hitter with a career .786 OPS, who averages slightly less than 22 HRs and 66 RBIs per 500 ABs for his career. Of course, he has never gotten more than 343 ABs in a season, and his career high in PAs is 416.


His numbers for the last two seasons are:
2004 -- .251 avg, 15 HR, 46 RBI, .819 OPS
2005 -- .253 avg, 15 HR, 42 RBI, .789 OPS

Very pedestrian numbers for a first baseman. I'm not convinced that Choi is any better than what the Reds already have, but I am sure that there are a lot of guys in MLB who can produce at that level. I certainly wouldn't see him as any kind of long-term solution at 1B.


I agree, Choi is overrated. But if you can nab an .800 OPS first baseman with solid fielding skills for $750,000--eh, what the hell. Beats a gimp like Hatteberg.

After all, the Reds got busy paying Sean Casey 6 and 7 million dollars to put up Choi-like numbers, year in and year out--why not get that kind of production for peanuts?

OnBaseMachine
03-24-2006, 09:18 PM
FWIW, Choi has a slightly higher OPS than Wily Mo, and unlike Mo, Choi understands how to take a walk and is a better fielder. And note that Choi has spent the last two years playing half his games in a pitchers park.

So if Wily Mo was placed on waivers and the Reds failed to pick him up, would you guys be frowning if the Reds decided to pass on him?

traderumor
03-24-2006, 09:26 PM
choi 2005 OPS .789

in wrigley .771

so why all the fuss?

traderumor
03-24-2006, 09:28 PM
FWIW, Choi has a slightly higher OPS than Wily Mo, and unlike Mo, Choi understands how to take a walk and is a better fielder. And note that Choi has spent the last two years playing half his games in a pitchers park.

So if Wily Mo was placed on waivers and the Reds failed to pick him up, would you guys be frowning if the Reds decided to pass on him?

wmp ops was .796 last year, choi .789

Falls City Beer
03-24-2006, 09:29 PM
Yeah, he's no great shakes, like I said, but he's dirt cheap, and could produce league average OPS for pennies on the dollar. Plus he's a bunch better than the current first baseman, Hatteberg.

I hope that Krivsky goes out and gets an even better first baseman than Choi, but doesn't hurt our payroll in doing so--or at least not so to the point of crippling the team's ability to acquire pitching.

OnBaseMachine
03-24-2006, 09:30 PM
wmp ops was .796 last year, choi .789

I'm talking career. Choi .786 to Pena .780

IslandRed
03-24-2006, 10:09 PM
I hope that Krivsky goes out and gets an even better first baseman than Choi, but doesn't hurt our payroll in doing so--or at least not so to the point of crippling the team's ability to acquire pitching.

Me, too. I'm not convinced Hatteberg's going to have the job all that long, and I hope passing on Choi means Krivsky already intends to do better.

StillFunkyB
03-24-2006, 11:28 PM
choi 2005 OPS .789

in wrigley .771

so why all the fuss?

Because Hatteberg will be the starting first baseman.

traderumor
03-24-2006, 11:47 PM
Because Hatteberg will be the starting first baseman.
Not enough reason. Choi is not much, if any, of an upgrade. Hatteberg and Womack are running neck and neck for 2006 whipping boy.

Golgafrinchan
03-24-2006, 11:51 PM
A couple have wondered in the thread what the big deal about Choi is. I'm not saying he's a great player, but there should be little doubt that he's superior to Scott Hatteberg at this point in their careers.

For what it's worth, PECOTA forecasts Choi to hit .264/.364/.490, while ZiPS has him at .251/.358/.464. PECOTA's top comparables are David Ortiz, Craig Kusick, and Erubiel Durazo. Not bad.

PECOTA has Hatteberg at .258/.336/.358, and ZiPS has him at .244/.332/.352.

The difference between the two in MLVR is exactly 0.200. Over 150 games, that's 30 runs, or ~3 wins' worth of offense between the two, if you believe BP's forecast.

If Hatteberg slugs .350-something as our first baseman this year in 100+ games, I will puke.

traderumor
03-24-2006, 11:56 PM
A couple have wondered in the thread what the big deal about Choi is. I'm not saying he's a great player, but there should be little doubt that he's superior to Scott Hatteberg at this point in their careers.

For what it's worth, PECOTA forecasts Choi to hit .264/.364/.490, while ZiPS has him at .251/.358/.464. PECOTA's top comparables are David Ortiz, Craig Kusick, and Erubiel Durazo. Not bad.

PECOTA has Hatteberg at .258/.336/.358, and ZiPS has him at .244/.332/.352.

The difference between the two in MLVR is exactly 0.200. Over 150 games, that's 30 runs, or ~3 wins' worth of offense between the two, if you believe BP's forecast.

If Hatteberg slugs .350-something as our first baseman this year in 100+ games, I will puke.
Yet most of the league passed on him as well. I'm not sure what you mean by "top comparables" but if your saying PECOTA project Choi and Ortiz as equals, something's amiss.

Golgafrinchan
03-25-2006, 12:00 AM
Yet most of the league passed on him as well. I'm not sure what you mean by "top comparables" but if your saying PECOTA project Choi and Ortiz as equals, something's amiss.

PECOTA compares players at the same age. Choi was 26 last year. Other players with the most similar careers after age 26 were Ortiz, Kusick, and Durazo.

You can see here (http://www.baseball-reference.com/friv/scomp.cgi?I=ortizda01:David+Ortiz&st=int&compage=26&age=26) and here (http://www.baseball-reference.com/c/choihe01.shtml) that after age 26, both Choi and Ortiz sported the same OPS+ of 107.

Of course, Ortiz has taken off in his 27-29 seasons, and I don't expect that from Choi. But there's at least some precedent of a player similar to him improving quite a bit.

KronoRed
03-25-2006, 12:30 AM
Hatteberg and Womack are running neck and neck for 2006 whipping boy.
Womack has that all to himself, Hatteberg is a backup on a team with the right lineup.

SteelSD
03-25-2006, 02:41 AM
Not enough reason. Choi is not much, if any, of an upgrade. Hatteberg and Womack are running neck and neck for 2006 whipping boy.

Choi's three year splits say differently:

2003-2005: .244 BA/.353 OBP/.444 SLG- .797 OPS

Now take a look at him versus RH pitching:

.253 BA/.357 OBP/.461 SLG- .818 OPS

Age-wise, Hatteberg's on the way down. Choi's on the way up and heading into his age-prime seasons. If nothing else, he's a SUPER option versus RH pitchers and is likely to top Hatteberg's 2006 OPS by 100 points. At minimum, Choi makes a Choi/Aurilia platoon at 1B demonstratively more productive than any form of Scott Hatteberg there.

Maybe Krivsky is working on acquiring a better option there. But if he is, that means it'll cost him prospects and there are very very few scenarios (if any) in which he's going to make a deal value-equitable to picking up Hee Seop Choi for free.

For a team desperately needing a productive 1B option, passing on Choi was a big-time mistake.

Ron Madden
03-25-2006, 06:55 AM
Yeah, he's no great shakes, like I said, but he's dirt cheap, and could produce league average OPS for pennies on the dollar. Plus he's a bunch better than the current first baseman, Hatteberg.

I hope that Krivsky goes out and gets an even better first baseman than Choi, but doesn't hurt our payroll in doing so--or at least not so to the point of crippling the team's ability to acquire pitching.

All Krivsky has to do here is.. Bring Adam Dunn in from LF to play 1B. and start Chris Denorfia in LF. :beerme:

Red Thunder
03-25-2006, 09:04 AM
The Reds can't afford to pick up Choi, as he is only able to play first base.

Hatteberg is here, he is pretty one-dimensional (first base, maybe emergency catcher) as well, the team simply doesn't need another younger Hatteberg in Choi.

The Reds are likely going to carry 12 pitchers, that means that the extra outfielders / infielders have to be able to play multiple positions. Womack can do it, Aurilia as well and the reserve outfielders (Wise, McCracken, Denorfia etc.) can all play each outfield position.

From a statistical standpoint it would have made sense to pick up Choi if Hatteberg would not already be signed. But Hatteberg is here, so I disagree with Steel ... it's a reasonable decision not to pick him up. It would hurt more to stockpile another first baseman just for the reason of talent. And if Choi had been claimed at the expense of releasing Hatteberg, this move would have been pretty expensive for no significant better production.

That's probably the reason why only the Red Sox claimed him. He has to be on the ML Roster and most teams have already their positions set and no place for a first base backup only.

WVRed
03-25-2006, 10:13 AM
Hatteberg had a major shoulder surgery when he was with the Red Sox that destroyed his arm. That is why he is a first baseman now.

I think I read this in Moneyball.

SteelSD
03-25-2006, 10:33 AM
From a statistical standpoint it would have made sense to pick up Choi if Hatteberg would not already be signed. But Hatteberg is here, so I disagree with Steel ... it's a reasonable decision not to pick him up. It would hurt more to stockpile another first baseman just for the reason of talent. And if Choi had been claimed at the expense of releasing Hatteberg, this move would have been pretty expensive for no significant better production.

At what point did 100 (or more) points of additional OPS qualify as not significantly better production?

RedlegNation
03-25-2006, 11:15 AM
I can't believe there's any debate about this. Choi is cheap, he's young, he's about to head into his prime years, and he's demonstrated the ability to be a big-time hitter (in spots, at least; take a look at his MLEs). He was a masher in the minors, and he's never gotten an extended opportunity in the majors.

This is the type of guy you take a flyer on when you have a hole at first base. Unlike some of the Steve Avery-type acquisitions in the Reds past, this wouldn't be based on just hope alone -- there's some chance that this guy turns into a credible major league hitter.

I don't think anyone is saying that he's going to be a Jeff Bagwell, but when your only other option is Scott Hatteberg, this is the type of guy you pick up and put in the lineup for 140 games. He won't be worse than what the Reds already have, and there's a very good chance that he'll be much better.

(Not to mention that there's a good chance he out-hits Sean Casey this year if he gets to play as much as Casey.)

Patrick Bateman
03-25-2006, 04:10 PM
I agree, Choi is overrated. But if you can nab an .800 OPS first baseman with solid fielding skills for $750,000--eh, what the hell. Beats a gimp like Hatteberg.

After all, the Reds got busy paying Sean Casey 6 and 7 million dollars to put up Choi-like numbers, year in and year out--why not get that kind of production for peanuts?

Makes it hard to beleive that there are many that criticize trading casey and his .800 OPS and $8.5M pricetag for 'nothing" as bad?

KronoRed
03-25-2006, 04:14 PM
All Krivsky has to do here is.. Bring Adam Dunn in from LF to play 1B. and start Chris Denorfia in LF. :beerme:
Hire this man for manager :thumbup:

Falls City Beer
03-25-2006, 04:35 PM
Makes it hard to beleive that there are many that criticize trading casey and his .800 OPS and $8.5M pricetag for 'nothing" as bad?

I wouldn't be one of those people. It was a sensible trade in my book--a year late, of course, but it needed to happen.

Red Thunder
03-25-2006, 07:00 PM
Steel,

Choi's 100 point difference in OPS only results from his power (homeruns). Otherwise they had about the same OBP last season.

What would you do?

Release Hatteberg and pay his salary so that Choi can play first? I think this would be too expensive, just for the mere difference of a couple of homeruns from a part time first baseman. Dunn will probably get his share of starts at first as well.

Or would you have claimed Choi and kept Hatteberg, so that two of the Reds (reserve) position players can only play first base and nothing else?

If it was Fantasy Baseball I'd agree and claim him. But - and that's just me - I wouldn't release Hatteberg just to have Choi on board nor what I want both of them on the same team.

About every team passed on the opportunity of picking Choi up. Apparently very few GM's see a difference makler in him.

Krusty
03-25-2006, 07:32 PM
As much as I would like to see the Reds acquired Choi, I'm ready to send a SOS out for a closer.

Johnny Footstool
03-25-2006, 10:36 PM
At what point did 100 (or more) points of additional OPS qualify as not significantly better production?

In the minds of people who have already made their decision and don't want to listen to evidence that to the contrary.


About every team passed on the opportunity of picking Choi up. Apparently very few GM's see a difference makler in him.

That's irrelevant, because not every other team is planning to play Scott Hatteberg at first base every day.

GriffeyFan
03-26-2006, 12:19 AM
I can't believe we're whining we didn't pick up Hee Seop Choi.

flyer85
03-26-2006, 12:24 AM
I can't believe we're whining we didn't pick up Hee Seop Choi.I'll save whining for the coming poor defense and when we get rotten pitching(which is likely to be often).

Johnny Footstool
03-26-2006, 12:46 AM
I can't believe we're whining we didn't pick up Hee Seop Choi.

We're whining because Choi was available on the cheap and yet we're still stuck with Scott Hatteberg. I can't believe people don't understand that.

SteelSD
03-26-2006, 01:00 AM
Steel,

Choi's 100 point difference in OPS only results from his power (homeruns). Otherwise they had about the same OBP last season.

So you're saying that the only difference is that Choi was more productive. Yeah. I know that.


What would you do?

Release Hatteberg and pay his salary so that Choi can play first?

Abso-freakin'-loutely that's what I'd do without thinking twice.


I think this would be too expensive, just for the mere difference of a couple of homeruns from a part time first baseman. Dunn will probably get his share of starts at first as well.

Or would you have claimed Choi and kept Hatteberg, so that two of the Reds (reserve) position players can only play first base and nothing else?

If it was Fantasy Baseball I'd agree and claim him. But - and that's just me - I wouldn't release Hatteberg just to have Choi on board nor what I want both of them on the same team.

I'll simply cut-and-paste what I posted on Reds Live:

<Begin cut-and-paste>

In 2005, Choi produced 47 Runs Created in 363 Plate Appearances. Hatteberg was at 50 RC over 523 Plate Appearances.

Project that out over 500 PA as the LH part of a platoon and you get the following:

Choi- 65 Runs Created
Hatteberg- 48 Runs Created

That's a difference of 17 Runs to the plus side. To put that in perspective, it's the Run value difference existing between a 4.50 ERA pitcher and a 5.25 ERA pitcher over 200 Innings.

In 2005, no First Baseman who grabbed as many as 250 PA was worth fewer Runs than Scott Hatteberg. When you'll be fielding a guy who'll most likely be the worst offensive 1B in the game in 2006, there's every reason in the world to pick up much better performance for free.

<End cut-and-paste>

If the Reds dumped Hatteberg and picked up Choi, the difference in cost would be 750K. Choi is likely to be worth at least two Wins more than Hatteberg at an additional cost of $375 K per Win. 90 Wins (the minimum number any team should be shooting for) with a payroll of around 60 million bucks would average out at about 667K per Win.

Now think about that for a minute. Spending an additional $375K for each of two additional wins is an extreme VALUE. It's like picking up wins at nearly half price versus the current scenario. There isn't a team in the land who shouldn't be estatic to have the opportunity to get that kind of cheap upgrade if they have the chance. Well, expect for the Reds; who'll be fielding the worst First Baseman in baseball when Hatteberg is penciled into the lineup there.


About every team passed on the opportunity of picking Choi up. Apparently very few GM's see a difference makler in him.

As Johnny already noted, that's irrelevant because no one else is dumb enough to pencil Scott Hatteberg into the starting lineup. And this is a guy Krivsky "targetted". Ugh.

cincinnati chili
03-26-2006, 11:52 PM
I know I've been out of the loop lately, but I want to go on record as being firmly in the pro-Choi camp.

He's more than worth a $750K gamble. The Red Sox will do what the Reds should have done. They'll stash him at triple-A, where he'll try to demonstrate that he's either the next David Ortiz or the next Jack Cust. Further, if Hatteberg were to flop or get hurt, the Reds would have a viable option at first.

Simply put, Choi has a better chance of becoming an impact major leaguer than 95% of the players who will get $750K bonuses in the draft this year.