Choo hopes to avoid being fitted for a new uniform.
"Yeah, next year. I want to come back," Choo said prior to the season finale with the White Sox. "But, as I've said earlier, I can't control that. I want to stay here, but it's not easy. The team makes the decision. If the team says, 'Go,' I'll go. I hope I can come back here."
Choo is entering his final offseason of arbitration-eligibility after earning $4.9 million this year, and the general consensus is that the right fielder will test free agency after the 2013 season. Under the circumstances, it seems likely that the Tribe will, at the very least, be open-minded about listening to trade offers for Choo.
Leading up to the July 31 Trade Deadline this season, Choo was rumored to be a target of the Pirates. The right fielder was briefly caught up in reports linking him to trade talks, but he tried to keep his focus on the season at hand.
"I never think about trade rumors or the Trade Deadline," Choo said. "Maybe there were two days I worried about it or was thinking about it, but I talked to my agent [Scott Boras] and after that, my job was just to play baseball. I can't do anything about it."
Choo was in the lineup for Wednesday's game against the White Sox, upping his season total to 155 games played. The right fielder hit .283 with 16 home runs, 43 doubles, 67 RBIs and 21 stolen bases. It has been a strong comeback showing for Choo, who missed a significant amount of time last year because of a hand injury.
"I'm happy for him," Indians interim manager Sandy Alomar Jr. said. "Choo has been very durable this year. He got hit a couple times and still played through it. He's a tough guy, man. Choo is a tough kid. He goes out there every day and you ask him how he feels and it's, 'I'm ready to play.' He comes to the ballpark ready to play every day. That's what you ask of your horses."
This season, Choo became only the third Cleveland player since 1918 to have at least 15 homers, 20 stolen bases, 40 doubles and 60 RBIs in one season. Roberto Alomar (1999, 2000) and Grady Sizemore (2006) also accomplished the feat.
"My first goal is always that the team makes the playoffs," Choo said of his season. "We didn't make the playoffs this year. The second goal is I want to play as many games as possible. I think I made that goal this year. I played 155 games this year.
"I'm happy. I can't hit 20 homers or hit .300, but I played many games and I'm healthy. I'm happy with this season."