Cross one team off the list of potential suitors for Jacoby Ellsbury.
According to CBSSports.com’s Jon Heyman, the Rangers are considering making a run at free-agent outfielder Shin-Soo Choo, but have apparently ruled out Ellsbury. Texas’ lack of interest in Ellsbury reportedly stems from its confidence in center fielder Leonys Martin.
Heyman did add a disclaimer, saying that the Rangers could be in play for Ellsbury eventually, but that Choo is their main target at the moment. The Rangers reportedly have talked to the Dodgers about their potentially available outfielders — Matt Kemp, Andre Ethier and Carl Crawford — as well. Texas will need an outfield replacement for Nelson Cruz if he signs elsewhere.
Signing Choo figures to be an expensive endeavor, and according to Heyman, the Rangers are unlikely to land the 31-year-old if the “rumored prices” are accurate. Heyman reports that Choo and agent Scott Boras have previous deals for Jayson Werth (seven years, $126 million) and Carl Crawford (seven years, $142 million) in mind while gauging teams’ interest. Ellsbury is also believed to be seeking such a deal.
Choo hit .285 with 21 home runs and 54 RBIs in 2013. His .423 on-base percentage ranked second in the National League behind Joey Votto‘s top mark of .435. Choo and Ellsbury provide different skill sets, but both excelled while batting leadoff this season. They’ll each represent an impact signing by whichever teams take the plunge.
The Yankees, Mets and incumbent Reds reportedly are among several teams to show interest in Choo.
Jon Heyman (@JonHeymanCBS) November 18, 2013