The time has begun for the Chicago Cubs.
The time where the focus moves from the remaining month of the 2013 Major League Baseball regular season and on to the off-season.
The off-season is everyone’s favorite time of year.
The Cubs likely will be in the same position that they were in the past two years, adding veteran players–a la David DeJesus and Nate Schierholtz–that fit the mold of the front office while also being a possible trading chip.
Patrick Mooney of Comcast Sportsnet Chicago reports that the Cubs will make a run at Choo this off-season. Choo is set to become a free agent in the off-season.
Choo is having a tremendous season with the Reds.
In 560 plate appearances, Choo is hitting .281/.416/.454 with a total of 29 extra-base hits and 16 home runs.
The one stat in particular that appeals to the Cubs’ front office is the on-base percentage. Choo’s OBP of .416 this season is higher than any player on the Cubs’ roster.
The Cubs’ outfield will be one of the more pressing needs in the off-season.
As currently constructed, Junior Lake and Nate Schierholtz appear to be the only two known starters in the outfield for the 2014 season. Ryan Sweeney or Brian Bogusevic will likely compete for the remaining spot in the outfield.
The Cubs could stand to use another offensive catalyst for their lineup. Even if Anthony Rizzo and Starlin Castro return to form in 2014, the Cubs will need to find a way to replace the production lost by trading Alfonso Soriano.
Choo would certainly fill that need for the Cubs.
Jacoby Ellsbury will also be a free agent this winter, but the Cubs’ front office is not expected to have an interest in a mega-deal for Ellsbury despite the connection to Theo Epstein, Jed Hoyer, and Jason McLeod.