A lot of people considered the Tigers a sleeper for Choo, in part because of Boras' long-standing relationship with owner Mike Ilitch and success at steering big-ticket clients to Detroit. But the Tigers' outfield shopping is complete now that they've signed Rajai Davis to a two-year deal. Detroit's main objectives now are upgrading the bullpen and trying to sign Max Scherzer to an extension. That's not going to be easy.
After dumping the Adrian Gonzalez and Carl Crawford mega-salaries and winning the World Series, the Red Sox don't seem inclined to jump into the deep end of the pool with another $100 million-plus free-agent deal. And if the Sox were going to spend nine figures on an outfielder, wouldn't they have made a more serious push to bring back Ellsbury?
They need an outfield corner bat. But after spending $166 million on Hunter Pence, Tim Hudson, Tim Lincecum, Javier Lopez and Ryan Vogelsong, they're in bargain-hunter mode. It would make more sense to add a Michael Morse-type (or the real Michael Morse) to share time with Gregor Blanco in left field. There's also been some buzz about the Giants trading for Brett Gardner and moving Angel Pagan to left.
He was a nice fit at the Great American Ball Park. But with $300 million-plus already invested in Joey Votto and Brandon Phillips, the Reds would have to see Choo's price drop considerably to have a reasonable shot at bringing him back. It's time for Billy Hamilton to set up shop in center field in Cincinnati.
Chris Davis was the only Baltimore regular with an on-base percentage above .330 last season, so Choo (.423 OBP at leadoff last season) would be a welcome addition at leadoff. But Adam Jones, Baltimore's best player, is signed to a long-term deal for $85 million, so the Orioles would probably be hesitant to go much beyond that. The O's also face the prospect of Davis and fellow Boras client Matt Wieters hitting the free-agent market after the 2015 season. They might want to conserve their resources now to have any chance to bring back one or both of those players later.
The Diamondbacks were always a long shot for Choo given their payroll limitations. Arizona has $65 million committed to seven players and a projected payroll of $100 million in 2014, so owner Ken Kendrick was going to have to seriously stretch the budget to fit Choo into the equation.
Now that the D-backs have added Mark Trumbo in a three-team trade with the Los Angeles Angels and the Chicago White Sox to fill their need for a corner outfielder, Towers can turn his attention to his other offseason priority -- trying to deal for a workhorse starting pitcher.