Major League Baseball teams will have more money to spend in coming years thanks to a booming television deal that is on the way. That might mask some bad contracts, but we still have to sit up and take notice when guys sign contracts valued over $100 million. That is the case with today’s news that the Texas Rangers have signed Shin-Soo Choo. Jon Heyman had the report for CBS, including the terms of the deal:
Choo deal is for $130M with texas
— Jon Heyman (@JonHeymanCBS) December 21, 2013
That is a lot to pay for a guy who hit .285 last season. Perhaps that is the cause for trepidation for those who are skeptical of such a big contract. David Cameron of FanGraphs is one such person:
Shin-Soo Choo is a nice player, but I think $130 million for him is going to lo real bad real quick.
— David Cameron (@DCameronFG) December 21, 2013
But his .423 on-base percentage in 2013 was astoundingly good and makes him a nice fit in a lineup that is already loaded. That fact stoked some excitement from other writers about the offense the Rangers will now tout:
LF Choo, SS Andrus, 1B Fielder, 3B Beltre, RF Rios, DH Moreland, C Soto, CF Martin, 2B Profar. Not a bad little lineup there.
— Matthew Pouliot (@matthewpouliot) December 21, 2013
My goodness is the Rangers’ potential lineup scary: Andrus, Choo, Beltre, Prince, Rios, Moreland, Profar, Soto, Martin.
— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) December 21, 2013
All in all, this signing pairs nicely with the addition of Prince Fielder this off-season. The Rangers are also going to maximize Choo’s value by getting him out of center field, where he was an abomination defensively last season for the Cincinnati Reds (his -16.9 UZR was far and away the worst mark among all Major League center fielders). Now he can just worry about getting on base and scoring a bunch of runs.
$130 million is a big number for Choo, but there is no denying that the Rangers have set him up for success next season and beyond.