Texas Rangers: Shin-Soo Choo returning home feels like end of an era

Shin-Soo Choo’s contract may have expired at the conclusion of the 2020 season, but he still hadn’t landed anywhere officially.

Until Monday.

The six-year Texas Rangers outfielder from South Korea has signed with the Shinsegae baseball club back in his native country for a reported $2.4 million, according to multiple sources.

Shin-Soo Choo was productive for the Texas Rangers, and now heads back home.

It’s effectively the end of an era in Texas Rangers baseball, as Shin-Soo Choo takes his talents back overseas.

The 38-year-old outfielder inked a seven-year, $130 million pact with the Texas Rangers in the off-season leading up to the 2014 campaign, ultimately rejecting a competitive overture from the New York Yankees to flock down to Arlington.

Prior to his tenure as a Ranger, Choo spent time in Seattle, Cincinnati and Cleveland.

Rangers fans will remember that the South Korean outfielder’s first year in Arlington was a bust, as he suffered various injuries and wound up playing in just 123 games, posting a career worst .714 OPS in 529 trips to the plate.

Choo rebounded in 2015 with a stellar .838 OPS and 22 home runs across 653 plate appearances as he helped lead Texas back to the postseason that year for the first time since 2012.

He also hit for the cycle in Colorado that season, then the eighth in team history.

Shin-Soo Choo proved to be a worthwhile investment for the Texas Rangers.

Choo was banged up again in 2016, but still posted a respectable .756 OPS that season.

He managed to stay healthy from 2017 through the duration of his contract, posting solid offensive numbers all the way through the end.

If nothing else, the 38-year-old was a solid and mostly consistent performer for the Rangers for the majority of his tenure.

Rarely can we look back on a contact of Choo’s magnitude and deem it a success, but the investment paid off in the form of two postseason appearances and a middle of the order, run-producing threat whom the Texas Rangers could count on time and time again.

For that, we can only be grateful to Shin-soo for choosing Texas and Arlington, specifically, over the bright lights of the Bronx.

It feels like an era of Texas Rangers baseball has now come to a close with the departures of Andrus and now Choo.

And how fitting indeed, as the next generation of Ranger stars begin emerge from the minors.

Thank you, Shin-Soo Choo, for all your contributions in red, white and blue. Best of luck back home!