Wed December 12, 2012
Reds acquire a lead-off hitter in Shin-Soo Choo
The Cincinnat Reds found the lead-off hitter they were looking for Tuesday when they dealt center fielder Drew Stubbs and infield prospect Didi Gregorious to the Cleveland Indians for veteran outfielder Shin-Soo Choo and utility infielder Jason Donald.
Gregorius, a shortstop who appeared in eight games for the Reds in a September call-up, was immediately dealt by the Indians to the Arizona Diamonbacks.
Reds general manager Walt Jocketty said the 30-year-old Choo "can fill the missing parts in our lineup both offensively and defensively."
Choo is expected to play center field - a position Choo has played only occasionally in his eight-year major league career.
Choo gives the Reds something they have not had in recent years - a lead-off hitter with a good on-base percentage. He's has a .289 career batting average and an on-base percentage of .381.
According to mlb.com, the Reds also received $3.5 million from the Indians in the trade.
Stubbs, considered an excellent defensive outfielder, has struggled at the plate, hitting only .213 in 2012. Gregorius was the fifth-ranked prospect in the Reds minor league organization, but was considered expendable before shortstop Zack Cozart is under the Reds' control for the next five seasons.
Choo will only be signed for one year. Many see him as a bridge to the Reds' center fielder of the future, minor leaguer Billy Hamilton, who set a record with 155 stolen bases in 2012 for the Reds' Bakersfield and Pensacola farm clubs.