The Texas Rangers have already made some big moves this offseason, but they made another one earlier today with the signing of former Cincinnati Reds outfielder Shin-Soo Choo. Choo and the Rangers agreed to a seven-year, $130 million deal that will help solidify the Rangers’ outfield long-term. According to other reports, the Yankees had earlier offered Choo a $140 million deal that he turned down.
In 154 games with the Reds last season, Choo recorded a .285 batting average to go along with 21 homers and 54 RBI’s. This deal likely signifies the end of the Nelson Cruz era for the Texas Rangers, as the two sides were unable to come to an agreement on terms. Choo will add quite a bit to this time, but he won’t be as dangerous in the power hitting game as Cruz was.
Texas has been looking to make their lineup one of the most formidable in the American League, and this move may have done just that. The Rangers already acquired Prince Fielder from the Detroit Tigers, which will make up for the differentials in power from Cruz to Choo. Cruz only batted for a .266 average which obviously is much lower than what Choo will bring to the table.
There are a few concerns with the seven-year deal with Choo being 31 years old. He will not be able to continue playing the type of baseball that he has been playing over the last few years for the entirety of this contract. Choo has at least 3-4 good seasons of baseball left in him, but age will begin taking its toll on him after a few more years. It’s certainly a large amount of money to be giving to a player that has already reached the peak of his career and has nowhere else to go but down.
All that being said, this deal is all about what he’ll bring to the diamond currently, and he will certainly make the Rangers a better baseball team. The Rangers are certainly a team to watch in the American League as a potential World Series contender.
Evan Massey is a Staff Writer for The Inscriber. Follow Evan on Twitter at @Massey_Evan.