UPDATE, 10:30 p.m. ET: According to Jeff Wilson of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, a seven-year offer has not been made to Choo, but the Rangers “still have interest in him.”
Now that Robinson Cano, Carlos Beltran and Jacoby Ellsbury are no longer on the free-agent market, 31-year-old outfielder Shin-Soo Choo has become the top player available.
On Wednesday, MLB.com’s T.R. Sullivan reported that the “Rangers have a seven-year offer on the table to free agent outfielder Shin-Soo Choo and he is giving it serious consideration. The offer is less than the $153 million deal that Jacoby Ellsbury signed with the Yankees this off-season but is still strong enough for Choo to consider.”
According to Jeff Passan of Yahoo! Sports, an eight-year offer would go a long way in landing Choo, but it remains to be seen if Texas, or any other team is willing to make that kind of commitment to the veteran center fielder.
General sense among teams involved in Shin-Soon Choo sweepstakes is whichever team goes eight years will land him. Believed to have seven.—
Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) December 11, 2013
Adding Choo would significantly bolster the Rangers lineup, one that finished eighth in runs scored, seventh in batting average and seventh in slugging percentage last year.
Choo batted .285 with 21 home runs, 54 RBIs and a stellar .423 on-base percentage in 154 games for the Cincinnati Reds in 2013. Even though Choo can hit for power and get on base consistently, his struggles against left-handed pitchers might be a concern for teams interested in signing him. He batted just .215 with zero home runs and 44 strikeouts in 181 at-bats versus lefties in 2013.