That's the old Cincinnati mantra, isnt it? The Reds are small market, can't afford that kind of player. We've heard that for years, but Castellini seems to not follow that line of thinking.
Choo's age is a factor, and who really knows what his salary demands will be, but my gut tells me that he's a fan favorite and he seems happy here. I haven't seen a guy get quite as much of a warm welcome from the usually surly, crabby Reds fan base (Especially someone from another country) as Choo.
Ludwick is a sunk cost, unfortunately, and I really don't expect much of a contribution from him going forward. I imagine a lot will be riding on what he can do to help the club down the stretch. His performance could very well foment what the plan will be in the outfield for 2014.
Hamilton clearly isn't ready (will he ever be?), Ludwick may very well be a part timer....So who's left? Paul/Heisey, Robinson, Bruce.
They may have no choice but to sign Choo.