After trading for the services of Prince Fielder already this offseason, the Texas Rangers have added another gem to their lineup. They have reportedly signed free agent outfielder Shin-Soo Choo to a seven-year, $130 million contract.
The deal, while not completely official, will cross off one of the biggest free agents from the board. Choo is a regular cast member of the bases, having the fourth-highest on-base percentage in all of the Majors last season. Only Miguel Cabrera, Joey Votto, and Mike Trout had a higher percentage than him.
Choo hit .285 last season in Cincinnati, while belting 21 home runs and driving in 54 RBI's. He also tallied 20 stolen bases to add to his numbers.After the Rangers traded Ian Kinsler to Detroit for Fielder, here's how the defensive alignment will look for the Rangers in 2014:
- C -- JP Arencibia or Geovany Soto
- 1B - Prince Fielder
- 2B - Jurickson Profar (replacing Kinsler)
- SS - Elvis Andrus
- 3B - Adrian Beltre
- LF - Shin-Soo Choo
- CF - Leonys Martin
- RF - Alex Rios
With the addition of the former Reds free agent, it appears as though Texas has moved on from Nelson Cruz and are trying to get back on track. Their playoff hopes were dashed the last two seasons, missing the playoffs in 2013 and seeing their numbers continue to drop from what was a promising 2012 season.
The deal was first reported by CBS Sports writer and MLB Network Insider John Heyman. Texas has not officially announced the move, as they are simply awaiting Choo to pass a physicial exam before the contract can be signed.