The Texas Rangers snag a prime target in Shin-Soo Choo.
One of the surprises as the winter meetings ended was that free agent outfielder Shin-Soo Choo had yet to sign. Some might have pointed to Scott Boras. Some may have even pointed to the length of contract Choo and Boras were pursing. In the end, the Texas Rangers emerged as the team Choo was leaning toward all along.
As first reported by CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman, the deal between Choo and the Rangers is for seven years and $130MM.
[RELATED: Choo Declines $140MM offer from Yankees]
One note that is mentioned is Choo’s struggles against left-handed pitching. Last season, he hit .215 when facing lefties as opposed for the .317 he posted against righties. According to Fangraphs, it was facing lefties on the road that plagued Choo. He hit a paltry .149 with an un-Choo-like .257 away from the hitter-friendly Great American Ball Park. While at GABP, Choo hit a respectable .287 with a OBP of .436 while at home.
And now he moves another hitter-friendly home in Arlington.
In signing with the Rangers, Choo will move to his natural position of right field or even move to left field since Alex Rios is also a right fielder. With Leonys Martin patrolling center, the Rangers seem set with their outfield situation and their starting eight.
Choo’s now former team, the Cincinnati Reds, now face the real aspect of having to replace Choo atop their lineup. He was vital to what the Reds accomplished last season. Without a bona fide leadoff hitter, the Reds may be forced to look to Billy Hamilton for that role.