Texas Rangers rumors: Shin-Soo Choo edition

The Texas Rangers are definitely interested in outfielder Shin-Soo Choo. With one, maybe two outfield positions up for grabs the Rangers are hoping to steal Choo without picking up a big contract.

Texas has been in communication with Choo’s agent Scott Boras and it seems evident that there is interest on Choo’s part to play in Arlington. All that needs to be finalized now is the price. The Rangers are certainly hoping to keep Choo’s contract under the $153 million that Boras negotiated for his other client, Jacoby Ellsbury. While the Yankees are notorious for throwing big contracts at undeserving players, the Rangers do not have such a negative stigma attached to them and might be able to sign Choo for less.

Choo is an extremely versatile player, able to play all three outfield positions and bat anywhere in the lineup. Last year he boasted a .423 on base percentage, a statistic that leads directly to runs scored.

Shin soo chooIf signed, I would expect to see Choo starting in left field and leading off in the lineup. Putting Choo in left field would knock up-and-coming superstar Michael Choice out of the starting job, a step I think would be beneficial for Texas’s success. Letting the young Choice mature while under the guidance of Choo could guarantee security in the outfield for years to come.

Putting Choo in center field is also an option, however Leonys Martín would lose his starting position. While this move might seem like a no-brainer to some, I would have to disagree. I think that Martín is going to be one of the most important players on the team this year, and so does manager Ron Washington.

“We certainly hope that with what Martín achieved last season, he can continue to build on it…This was quite an experience for him to learn how to play the game of baseball under control and contribute. He certainly did that as the year progressed. We’re looking for big things out of Martín.”

By trading Craig Gentry to the Oakland A’s the Rangers made it obvious that they are expecting Martín to take over completely in center field. Also, with Kinsler gone another spot in the top of the order opens up for Martín to win during Spring Training. Bringing in Choo could distort that whole plan.

As much as Choo could contribute to the Texas Rangers with his outrageous on-base percentage, speed on the base paths, and glove in the outfield I do not think that signing him is the best move the Rangers could make. Choo is a player who has the potential to get signed for a big contract and the Rangers are a team trying to do just the opposite. The two interests just don’t match up. Who Texas should really be signing is Nelson Cruz. Cruz has produced well for the Rangers over the last five years and his power numbers are only increasing. Putting Cruz in left field keeps Martín in center and, in combination with Alex Ríos in right, gives Texas one of the best outfields in the league.

At the end of the day, while having Shin-Soo Choo in Rangers colors could do nothing but increase the number of W’s the team enjoys, I just don’t think he is worth the extra millions when Nelson Cruz could potentially be signed for less.

When asked about his progress towards filling his remaining outfield spots General Manager Jon Daniels commented, “We’re not done yet, but we don’t feel any desperation to make a move. We’re a good team. We’d like to get better if the opportunity is there. If not, we’re going to go with the guys we’ve got.”

 

  • Robbie Guthrie

    I’m glad you’re not the Rangers’ GM. This is the most idiotic column I’ve read concerning Shin-Soo Choo, Nelson Cruz and the Rangers. What Rangers’ fan wouldn’t like to see more wins? I have grown tired of seeing Cruz swinging at balls low and outside, striking out and looking like a deer in headlights as he slowly walks back to the dugout. Choo could possibly be one of the best lead off batters in Rangers history.

    However, knowing the Rangers. they will probably sign neither. If not for Dave Dombrowski placing Prince Fielder in their laps, they have basically done nothing other than loose most of their free agents. Other teams in the division have been very busy.

    Efforts should be made to bring Matt Garza back, but you don’t hear that the Rangers are even interested. Just another expensive rent-a-player that costs the Rangers more young talent. The ultimate kick in the teeth would be if he signs with the Angels and he comes back to a good year and the Rangers don’t even get a draft pick for him.

    • Phil Merkel

      Rangers cannot afford to whiff on both…and, it’s not impossible for them to sign both…just maybe not probable to sign both.

  • ballfan1014

    I like Cruz, but when i think of the chance that the Rangers have to pick up Choo it seems like a no brainer to me.
    I’m reminded of a former player (Kinsler or Mr. Popup i like to call him); who was traded to Detroit for Mr. Prince Fielder; every time i watched Kinsler hit i felt like i had to cross my fingers in hopes he would not popup, but i think with Shin Soo Choo that may be a problem we can leave in the past, plus who says we can’t still sign Cruz and turn him into a D-Hitter,. there are lots of options open to the Rangers thank God there willing to spend some money to make the changes.
    I’m hoping for a real Merry Christmas with the news that Choo is going to be apart of the team after all he has already made it clear he wants to join the Rangers and that is good news.

  • blue

    Putting Cruz in left field?????????????? It gives the Rangers the best outfields in the league? No way! Short on memory-Cruz is definitely not one of the best outfielders! Left field is a hot spot. Choo is a much better outfielder than Cruz.

    • jizno

      Hand down!!!

  • Gary J Hill

    What? Cruz in left? He’s got an arm, but zero range. He would be the DH if they resigned him. Choice would be the left fielder if they can’t land Choo. But Choo is definitely the best option in left. Get Choo and Cruz and give Choice a year in Round Rock. Rios has two seasons remaining on his contract and Choice would slide in nicely at that point.

  • Evan

    This is just so wrong. Leonys Martin had a OBP of .310 last year. That, compared to Choo’s .423, makes all the difference in the world. The Rangers already have the middle of their lineup set with Prince-Beltre-Rios. And its not exactly as if Cruz is coming on a value contract, he is asking for 15M/yr for 4~5 years. The Rangers biggest hole is the absence of a table-setter that actually gets on base, and there is nobody better in the game at that role than Choo.

    • Phil Merkel

      Totally agree!!!