Shin-Soo Choo has agreed to a seven-year deal worth $130 million to sign with the Texas Rangers, sources told ESPN.
The sources have confirmed that the deal doesn’t include an opt-out clause. However, the deal includes a performance package and a limited no-trade provision.
Choo was the last top free agent hitter left on the market after Jacoby Ellsbury signed with the New York Yankees and Robinson Cano went to Seattle. At this point the deal is all but finalized, Choo must still pass a medical exam before he becomes a Rangers player. Choo had earlier turned down a seven-year deal worth about $140 million offered by New York Yankees. The Yankees later signed Ellsbury. It is said Choo’s deal may have more value to him since Texas doesn’t have state income tax.
This move will certainly reinforce the Rangers offense where Choo will team up with Prince Fielder, who was acquired from Detroit earlier last month, and baseman Adrian Beltre. Choo scored 107 runs last season with the Cincinnati Reds but his prime strength is his ability to get to the base. He boasts a .389 on-base percentage over 9 seasons. As a matter of fact, he was the Reds’ second leading player in on-base percentage, behind Joey Votto.
Choo does, however, have a problem with left-handed pitchers. He has a .243 career batting average and a .680 0n-base percentage against left-handed pitching compared to a .309 and .932 against righties. Last season, he batted .215 against lefties and .317 vs. righties.
Analysts say that the Rangers were the most logical fit for Choo. His presence on the Rangers team will give a big boost to their offence. Choo’s agreement with the Rangers also means that outfield Nelson Cruz will likely get dropped from the team for next season.
Shin-Soo Choo Highlights
Image via Wikipedia