If not Beltran, maybe Shin-Soo Choo


The Texas Rangers are in need of and outfielder and another big bat.  So far, the Texas Rangers have looked at Carlos Beltran and Nelson Cruz, but there is a third option with Shin-Soo Choo.  Shin-Soo Choo is another top outfielder they could use to fill the offensive gap they saw late in the 2013 season.  The Texas Rangers will not be the only one seeking to sign the 31 year old player, Choo ranks 3rd on the top free agents list by MLB Rumors.com.  Currently it is speculated that he will end up with the Tigers, but the Texas Rangers do have a good chance to pick him up.

Sep 14, 2013; Milwaukee, WI, USA; Cincinnati Reds first baseman Joey Votto (left) is greeted by center fielder Shin-Soo Choo after hitting a 2-run homer in the sixth inning against the Milwaukee Brewers at Miller Park. Mandatory Credit: Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports

According to MLB Rumors.com, Mets, Yankees,  Mariners, Cubs, and Astros are other potential teams that could pick him up.  Out of that list, the strongest teams are the Rangers, Tigers, Yankees and Mariners.  Surprisingly, this year the Mariners are aiming to get some big bats this year, and intend to spend some money to get them.  Just on a side note with the Mariners, they are also interested in Nelson Cruz and Carlos Beltran.

If they Rangers do go aggressively after Shin-Soo Chin, they will again have to pay up.  His agent Scott Boras wants to see him signed to a $100 million contract, but it is expected to go lower than that amount.  Some speculate he will end up around $75 million for 5 years.  As good as Choo is, he’s never been an all-star and hasn’t won many awards.  Not saying he’s not a good player or worth it, but history has shown that all-star players are the ones that get the big contracts.

Choo has had several all-star stat worthy seasons, some reason he hasn’t been selected.

His agent talked about this

"“The value of a leadoff hitter who has a .420 on-base percentage, 20-stolen base speed, 20-home run power, the ability to score 100 runs, and who has the ability to play center field and is a Gold Glove type defender in right field is immense,” Boras said. “We don’t see these types of players in the free-agent market. I only want to talk about our clients, and the last one we had anywhere near this was Jayson Werth.” (Jon Heyman CBSSports.com)"

Why bring Choo to the Texas Rangers?  If Nelson Cruz doesn’t return, the Rangers need to replace his bat and defensive capabilities.  Shin-Soo Choo brings both of those.  In 2013 Choo had a batting line of .285/.423/.462/.885 with 107 at-bats, 162 hits, 34 doubles, 2 triples and 21 home runs.  Also, he played in 154 games last year and 155 games in 2012.  He’s solid and healthy.  Another good reason to pick up Choo.

If you compare his batting to Nelson Cruz, who had a .266/.327/.506/833, he’s an upgrade.

Defensively Choo is also better than Cruz.  He had a fielding percentage of .989 in right field last year, above the league average of .984.   Overall, his fielding has consistently been higher than the league average.  Another solid reason the Texas Rangers should bring him to Arlington.

Will Jon Daniels do it?  He has 3 great outfielders to choose from, Nelson Cruz, Carlos Beltran and Shin-Soo Choo.   It’s hard to pick, but Choo or Beltran to me is a must.