The deal Shin-Soo Choo agreed to Saturday — reportedly seven years, $130 million with the Texas Rangers — tells you why the Reds were never serious contenders to re-sign him. “We knew that we didn’t have a chance if he got when I thought he was going to get,” Reds Reds general manager Walt Jocketty said. The Reds met with Choo’s agent, Scott Boras, at the Winter Meetings. “We wanted to see if anything had changed,” Jocketty said. “It hadn’t. There’s only a couple of clubs at that level. We would have loved to have him back, but we have to move on.” Right now, the plan is to start Billy Hamilton in center field and lead him off. “He’s the guy,” Jocketty said. “We feel confident he can be a good leadoff hitter. He’ll give us great defense. The only question is how often he can get on base. He’ll start working on his bunting again after the first of the year. If he can master that, it will really help him.” Hamilton has the speed to change a game. Fans saw that with his 13 steals in 14 attempts during his September call-up. But he hit .256 with a .308 on-base percentage at Triple-A this season. He followed that by hitting .227 with a .284 on-base in 75 at-bats in Winter Ball in Puerto Rico.
Reds GM: Billy Hamilton’s the guy
Cincinnati Enquirer | Dec 21