Although the Chicago Cubs were connected to him by rumors periodically throughout the offseason (indeed, stretching back into August), Shin-Soo Choo was always destined to go somewhere else.
Detroit and Texas made the most sense, and, according to Jon Heyman, it’s going to be Texas for Choo. Heyman reports it’s a seven-year deal, though no terms have yet been reported. You’ve got to figure the deal will be in the $20 million per year range, which feels a bit crazy for a 31-year-old corner outfielder with little pop and crazy splits, but, hey, that’s the price of OBP (just don’t count on him to repeat his HBP-inflated mark from 2013).
A teeny, tiny upside here is that signing Choo to a monster deal (after taking on Prince Fielder’s deal) makes it slightly less likely that the Rangers will be serious players for Masahiro Tanaka, should he be posted. The Yankees and Dodgers are still the primary competition, though.
Outfielder Nelson Cruz is now going to head elsewhere, and might be scrambling a bit to find the kind of huge contract he’d hoped to get when the Winter began. And the Angels, Mariners, and A’s will all have to consider just how much better the Rangers have made themselves in the near-term.
UPDATE: Reports say the deal is for $130 million, or about $18.57 million per year, plus a limited no trade clause. It’s a lot of money for a guy with some warts, but he inarguably makes the Rangers a lot better in the 2014-16 window.