Reactions To Shin-Soo Choo Signing

By agreeing to a seven-year, $130MM contract today with Shin-Soo Choo, the Rangers put an exclamation point on an offseason of sizable future salary commitments — for the team and the league as a whole. Along with the contract commitments taken on or made to Alex Rios, Prince Fielder, Martin Perez, Elvis Andrus, and Matt Harrison, Texas has added nearly $400MM in future salary obligations to its books during the 2013 calendar year. And as MLBTR's 2014 Free Agent Tracker shows, league-wide salary expenditure through free agency has now passed the bar set in 2013, when the league spent $1.46 billion on open-market players. 

With Choo off the board, the top remaining free agent position players are Stephen Drew and Nelson Cruz. Of course, several other major pitching targets are still free, and figure to command sizeable deals of their own. Here are some of the early reactions from around baseball to Choo's signing:

  • As far as discipline goes, Choo, Prince Fielder and Geovany Soto will add real stress to opponent pitch counts, writes Evan Grant of the Dallas News. In 2013, the Rangers ranked ninth in the AL in total pitches seen and that was with the benefit one of extra game.
  • In the wake of Choo signing with Texas, Reds GM Walt Jocketty reiterated that Billy Hamilton is his guy, writes John Fay of the Cincinnati Enquirer.  “He’s the guy,” Jocketty said. “We feel confident he can be a good leadoff hitter. He’ll give us great defense. The only question is how often he can get on base. He’ll start working on his bunting again after the first of the year. If he can master that, it will really help him.
  • The Rangers and Boras worked well into Friday night and Saturday morning to put together the deal, writes Tim Brown of Yahoo Sports.  Brown adds that Choo's left-handed bat should play particularly well in Texas.
  • Bringing Choo into the fold takes care of the final item on the Rangers' to-do list and helps ensure that the three-way race for the American League West will once again be must-see baseball, writes Fangraphs' Paul Swydan.
  • Richard Durrett of ESPNDallas.com looks at possible lineups for the Rangers now that Choo is in the fold.

Jeff Todd contributed to this post.


99 Responses to Reactions To Shin-Soo Choo Signing Leave a Reply

  1. I know that Fangraphs thinks that the Angels will be contenders, but it’s hard to call the AL West a three-way race if the Angels finished below .500 last year and haven’t really made strong additions yet. Freese hit .198 and Ibanez will be 42 in June and their pitching hasn’t really been addressed. I think Seattle can put together a better record than them.

    • slider32 2 years ago

      Murph, you can’t just go by what they have added, they have Pujols and Hamilton who had bad years and were injured last year. This team is a contender on paper.

      • not_brooks 2 years ago

        Is Pujols the full time first baseman again, now that Trumbo is gone?

        If so, yikes.

        • neekohlai 2 years ago

          Yep the Angels must be terribly frightened of a 2 time Gold Glove winner taking back his regular position.

          • I bet the Yankees are excited to have their 5 time Gold Glove winner back to his regular position. I’d be worried about durability, though 1B isn’t that taxing.

          • not_brooks 2 years ago

            Yeah, a 34-year-old coming off right knee and left foot injuries/surgeries who won his Gold Gloves four and eight seasons ago and was limited to 34 games at first base due to the previously mentioned injuries.

          • RyanWKrol 2 years ago

            Who is healthy and pain free now.

          • not_brooks 2 years ago

            I’ll believe it when I see it.

          • RyanWKrol 2 years ago

            We’re talking about the best player in the game over the past 15 years. But ok.

          • not_brooks 2 years ago

            What in the world does 2001-2011 have to do with 2014?

          • RyanWKrol 2 years ago

            Who is healthy and pain free now.

          • nepp 2 years ago

            Yes, and he’s still the same defender who won those GGs.

          • not_brooks 2 years ago

            You really think Pujols is as quick and agile as he was four years and two surgeries ago?

      • It’s not a contender on paper. Pujols underperformed for the second straight year and Hamilton shows up when he wants to. With question marks at 3B and C and a very old DH, I don’t really like their odds. Trout can’t carry them entirely.

        • nepp 2 years ago

          Did Pujols underperform or is he simply declining with age? The latter seems far more likely.

          • RyanWKrol 2 years ago

            The fact that he produced his career averages the rest of 2012 after that miserable start contradicts that. His 2013 was the result of his foot finally catching up to him. So I think we won’t really know until the end of 2014.

        • RyanWKrol 2 years ago

          That would be a plausible reason if they were really that dependent on Albert, and if that was really their problem. Pitching was their problem. Mike Trout is their centerpiece now. Pujols can sit back and be a 25 HR / 90 RBI guy behind him from here on out. Pitching is the key and they improved that already.

          • Pujols still needs to be a force. They addressed their pitching with young guys with a lot of upside but we don’t really know what they’ll be capable of.

          • RyanWKrol 2 years ago

            Not really. Trout is their center piece now. And the Angels proved they can absorb his and Hamilton’s struggles. Those 2 having vintage season would just turn the Angels into possibly the league’s top offense; it’s a bonus. That’s part of their problem in 2013; their roster was too top heavy on offense.

    • Yo Tega 2 years ago

      Perhaps you are correct. However, should Hamilton find his form again and Pujols manage a full season the Angels might be a bit more pesky than people think. I’m a Rangers’ fan, so I tend to not overlook any team in the division…especially the Angels.

      • Steven Russell 2 years ago

        Definitely, lot’s of question marks about that team but if everything went “right” for them with their rotation and Puljos/Hamilton stepped it up and stayed healthy, they could be a big threat. They’ve been great on paper for a couple years now.

    • MadmanTX 2 years ago

      Oh, the Angels. I was trying to figure out the 3rd team after the Rangers and A’s. I think the 3rd team is still a toss-up in that division.

      • RyanWKrol 2 years ago

        The division is a toss up between the A’s, Angels, and Rangers.

        • talcha32 2 years ago

          Haha. Until proven otherwise, LAA has no business being involved in the conversation with Texas and Oakland.

    • Scott 2 years ago

      They added Hector Santiago, Tyler Skaggs, and Joe Smith to their pitching staff. They are also unlikely to get a SP season as historically bad as what Blanton did for much of last year, and are likely to add another SP arm. They also missed almost two months of Weaver last year. They also had gross underproduction out of Hamilton and an injured Pujols. They improved their 3B situation, and still have the best player in baseball. It’s a little silly to just talk about ‘additions’ without addressing what caused much of their actual under-performance last year.

      • not_brooks 2 years ago

        Pujols and Hamilton are the big potential difference makers here.

        Trout will be awesome, as usual, and the rotation will likely be better than last year, but what of the two aging stars?

        Will Pujols stay healthy enough at 34 to return to at least his 2012 level of production? Will Hamilton bounce back at age 33?

        Left handed pitching absolutely destroyed Hamilton in 2013 – what was the deal there?

        • Scott 2 years ago

          Crazy as it is, I’m actually expecting a big step forward from Garrett Richards this year. If that happens in a rotation of Weaver/Wilson/Richards/Santiago/(Tanaka?Garza?Skaggs?), then the offense of Trout/Pujols/Hamilton/Freese/Ibanez/Calhoun/Kendrick/Aybar/Iannetta(Conger) should be able to produce more than enough runs to stay in games. That’s basically better-than-league-average offense out of every position. The bullpen will likely be misused by Scioscia, but I think it’s been retooled (with Burnett coming back and Smith in the fold) to be an asset rather than the liability of recent years.

          • not_brooks 2 years ago

            Yeah, it should be an exciting season in the AL West.

            And it’ll be fun to watch Cano and the Mariners finish in fourth place.

          • RyanWKrol 2 years ago

            If Scioscia had a bullpen he could use then he wouldn’t mis-use it. How do you explain the great bullpens they had for so many years? If you acquire bad pitchers you’re gonna get bad pitching every time, no matter how you use them.

          • Scott 2 years ago

            Even when they’ve had decent pieces in recent years, he’s too hellbent on ‘role playing’ to just let match-ups work in his favor. A bullpen can ABSOLUTELY be less than the sum of its parts when mismanaged.

          • RyanWKrol 2 years ago

            In theory, yes. But when Scioscia was given a bullpen he could actually use, he got the most out of then by putting them in those particular roles. For the most part, Reagins and Dipoto both have failed to address a bullpen in decline since 2009. Dipoto finally went out and got pieces that aren’t recovering from Tommy John and aren’t 80 years old. You get bad pitchers and you’re gonna get bad pitching every time, and vice versa. Simple as that.

        • RyanWKrol 2 years ago

          The difference would actually be between being a very good offense to perhaps the league’s best offense. That was their problem in 2013; too much offense not enough pitching. Big seasons out of those 2 would just be a bonus.

      • It’s not silly. Their offense, bullpen, and backend of the rotation are mysteries. Skaggs and Santiago were good pickups for Trumbo, but what are we supposed to expect from them? If everyone is healthy and produces then maybe but that’s a big if. They need to improve drastically on last years results to be contenders.

        • Scott 2 years ago

          How is an offense that finished 7th in all of baseball in runs WITHOUT Pujols and with Hamilton having the worst season of his career, a “mystery?” They were good last year when under-performing. How good do you suppose they’d be if they even got ‘decent’ performances from those guys? Not great…just ‘decent?’

          • I don’t think they will be very good.

          • Wes9825 2 years ago

            Neither will the Rangers. Oh wait…now comes the oft used but little proven “we’ve got the best farm system in the majors…” Still no hardware to show for it.

          • RyanWKrol 2 years ago

            11 players with OPS+ of 100 or higher. Saying they won’t be very good is like saying the Red Sox won’t be very good despite having 12 players with OPS+ of 100 or higher. And that production masked a bullpen that was among the worst in blown saves. And I didn’t see anyone on the Sox having vintage Pujols/Hamilton-type seasons either. Big lapse in logic when saying the Angels are so dependent on those 2, especially when Trout is their centerpiece now.

  2. Jason Champion 2 years ago

    Things are getting serious in the AL West.

  3. slider32 2 years ago

    Gamons said that Drew is waiting for clarity from the Yanks, if A-Rod is suspended for the year and Tanaka doesn’t post the Yanks will have 25 million to spend. Drew could be in that picture along with Balfour, and another starter.

    • Seamaholic 2 years ago

      $25m doesn’t buy what it did once. Maybe two of those three, not all of them. And then you don’t want to make Jeter unhappy …

      Sounds like someone’s trying to drum up a market for Drew so the Red Sox don’t get him back on a bargain.

  4. Scott 2 years ago

    Unless the Reds are banking on a guy who made his MLB debut during Grover Cleveland’s first term, I think you guys linked to the wrong Billy Hamilton.

    • not_brooks 2 years ago

      Perhaps it’s wishful thinking. That Billy Hamilton posted a .455 career OBP and led the league in OBP and stolen bases five times each.

    • livestrong77nyyankz 2 years ago

      Haha hopefully that is not the case.

    • StevePegues 2 years ago

      Reds Owner: [icily] Then cross him off the list.

      Not my bit, but still funny.

    • Tripod 2 years ago

      It’s like when Mr. Burns of the Simpsons came up with his original list of ringers for his softball team

    • Edictor27 2 years ago

      Maybe billy hamilton got re-incarneted as billy hamilton

  5. brian310 2 years ago

    So what does their lineup look like?

    • Bonecrusher 2 years ago

      Choo
      Andrus
      Fielder
      Beltre
      Cruz*
      Rios
      Profar
      Martin
      Soto/Arencibia

      • brian310 2 years ago

        Not too shabby

      • MrSativa 2 years ago

        and no pitching to back it up.

        • Bonecrusher 2 years ago

          You know that used to be the problem around here for a long time. But not anymore. You sir have not watched Rangers baseball last season

          • Wes9825 2 years ago

            no one has. it’s the Rangers.

          • talcha32 2 years ago

            Their loss. They’ve been missing out on watching one of the best teams since the 2010 season.

          • RyanWKrol 2 years ago

            That was the case 2 years ago but now there are many questions about the back end of their rotation and bullpen, although they do have a deep enough bullpen to get by still. But I wouldn’t get too high on their staff yet, unless they get good years out of some guys lower on the depth chart. Don’t forget the Rangers overall record was heavily skewed by their record vs the AL West. And that’s not something I would bank on happening again when playing nearly half your games against one of the most competitive divisions in MLB. It’s gonna be an exciting division in 2014.

          • talcha32 2 years ago

            There aren’t questions at all. Just a matter of who wins the open jobs. We have four guys read to fight for the #5 rotations spot and 3 good options at closer.

        • Kyle 2 years ago

          So Darvish, Holland, Harrison, Perez, Lewis, Ogando, Ross, Sheppers, Soria, Cotts, Frasor, and Feliz equate to “no pitching”?
          If that’s a pitching staff in bad shape there must not be very many contenders out there.

          • RyanWKrol 2 years ago

            That’s good enough to contend. The list has it’s question marks but so does everyone else. It’ll be a tough race.

          • RyanWKrol 2 years ago

            That’s good enough to contend. The list has it’s question marks but so does everyone else. It’ll be a tough race.

        • Steven Russell 2 years ago

          Clueless.

      • TigerFan1968 2 years ago

        Why bat your best player Rios 6th. Second or Third. Maybe Choo after Beltre to go left right left right.

        • Bonecrusher 2 years ago

          Rios is a five hole for sure but not over Nelly IF* he is resigned. To me Rios is not a 3 or 4 guy. Not enough power. Choo is the leadoff guy the Rangers have needed for a long time. The top four are Left right left right.

          • Tko11 2 years ago

            Why would they even consider signing Cruz now? Rios,Martin,Choo is a better all around outfield than Rios, Cruz, Choo. Martin put up more WAR last season than Cruz did in his past two full seasons…

          • Bonecrusher 2 years ago

            Defensively I agree. Although The lineup is packed with lefties and I’d like another power bat on the right side. Rios is no Cruz at the plate. 2011 ALCS MVP. I understand he isn’t great Defensively but he has a cannon for an arm and extremely accurate. He can also DH. You can never have too many hitters. We struggled last year offensively.

          • Tko11 2 years ago

            It would be a waste of money that can be spent in a bigger area of need. Id prefer having the DH spot open to rest players than tied down to one player.

          • Bonecrusher 2 years ago

            You can rotate Moreland, Cruz, Fielder at DH. Nelly can also play right, Rios Left, Choo Center. That way we wouldn’t be exposed to getting shut down by a dominant Lefty because you turn a L to an R in the lineup. The bench would be deep. Having Nelly’s bat for the playoffs alone would be worth the money on my account. Nelly won’t get a mega deal its 3 years tops. I still think Nelly and a SP that can contend for the 4th or 5th rotation spot. Those are what I believe to be needs.

        • talcha32 2 years ago

          Rios isn’t our best player. But he’ll bat 5th.

  6. VadaPinson 2 years ago

    I wish Billy could be at least half the bunter that Rod Carew was……… as he has no power, he needs to find every which way possible to get on base…even if he needs to be Wee Willie Keeler and bunt it over drawn in 3rd baseman

  7. Super_Hero 2 years ago

    So Scott Boras lost 10 mill in salary and potential endorsement deals in the NY market for Choo.

    • John Kreese 2 years ago

      You New York guys are so bitter. First Cano & now Choo. Believe it or not, not every players WANTS to play for the Yankees.

    • nepp 2 years ago

      Texas doesnt have an income tax though while NYC has quite a high one…he probably almost breaks even in the end just as a result of that.

  8. Wes9825 2 years ago

    Sounds like RevMurph is a little worried about the Halos. Don’t worry, sir, if and when we get back to the Show, we will at least close the deal….

    • RyanWKrol 2 years ago

      A little bit of playoff history rivalry bias probably.

  9. Wes9825 2 years ago

    Texass Rangers: Est. 2010

    • Kyle 2 years ago

      Oh, a bitter Angels fan yelling from all the way down from 4th place. Nice.

      • Wes9825 2 years ago

        bitter? Haha, no, Angel fans respect the A’s because they actually back it up. Plus, their lineup scares us, unlike Texas, and we are 1-1 in WS appearances. How about you?

        • Bonecrusher 2 years ago

          You still mad about those three walk offs…..

          • Wes9825 2 years ago

            not sure what you mean, too busy polishing World Series trophy….Texas Rangers: all Preparation, no H’in! Bwahahahaha!

          • Bonecrusher 2 years ago

            You should cling on to that. Because it looks like you won’t be winning anything anytime soon. Bwahahahahaha!

        • Scott 2 years ago

          When did the Angels lose a World Series appearance?

          • Yankees420 2 years ago

            I believe he means 1 for 1, a.k.a. batting 1.000

      • RyanWKrol 2 years ago

        The Angels haven’t finished 4th since 1999.

      • RyanWKrol 2 years ago

        Angels fans are taking a breather while they give the rest of you in the AL West a chance to finally step it up after a decade of stomping all over you. Someone had to step forward and get a World Series trophy in the newly aligned AL West — many fans laughed at our division early in the WC era. Are the Angels going to have to step back up and do it for you? … Again?

        • Kyle 2 years ago

          Oh ok. I didn’t know signing CJ Wilson, Albert Pujols, and JOsh Hamilton meant the Angels were taking a breather.

          • RyanWKrol 2 years ago

            I never said the organization was taking a breather. This is the rest of the division’s chance to finally step up. You do realize that if the Angels take back the division in 2014 that some of the taglines will probably be: “The Angels are back” or “The Angels are back on top of the AL West.” It will look as if this was still the Angels’ division all along. That’s the point. A’s, Rangers, and Mariners all need to step it up.

    • Mike 2 years ago

      Do you want to get shot? Just remember, Texas has guns.

  10. Michael 2 years ago

    Wrong Billy Hamilton link, unless the Reds are banking on a 147-year old outfielder who died in 1940.

  11. Rizzo44 2 years ago

    They really need to trade Soto.

  12. Ace McCloud® 2 years ago

    As an A’s fan I’m glad these teams are doing whatever they can to try to take the west crown. A’s, Angels, M’s, Rangers and even the Astros have improved. Should make for an interesting six months out west.

    Let’s go Oakland !

  13. SoxFanCyp 2 years ago

    Regarding Billy Hamilton: I don’t know much about him although I know he has tremendous speed. Can he hit and get on base at all or is he going to be similar to Joey Gathright?

    • Chase Johnston 2 years ago

      Tremendous speed manages to be an understatement. He’s steps faster than anyone in the league right now. Soft contact to the left side of the IF will result in a base hit a surprising amount of time with him.

  14. lwayne 2 years ago

    Tough division top to bottom but the A’s and Texas look to be the top 2with the Angels and Mariners winning their share and will make things tighter. The Rangers have the most talent but the A’s play tougher and win many they should not. The Angels are on a high dollar slide as Pujo and Hamhock continue to deteriorate and their top producer Trumbo gone.. They will have their moments and even weeks but …… Houston will not be as bad, could cost anyone taking them lightly, but the talent is either not there or raw and young.

  15. charles stevens 2 years ago

    Rangers have the best team on paper and should be a team that does damage in October. The A’s will be the A’s. They’re going to play better than they should and give Texas a race. The Angels are potentially a team that can make some noise if their pitching additions work out and they get the 2011 versions of Pujols, Hamilton. Their bullpen is still a mess though. Seattle will win a few games but they aren’t a threat to anyone. Houston has a pretty ballpark and a really cool hill out in center.
    So with all that said I predict two playoff teams from the west and maybe just maybe three if the Angels get it together.

    • RyanWKrol 2 years ago

      There are enough questions on every AL West team that the division will most likely be a 3 team race, possibly 4 (Mariners) but unlikely, with the winner being the one who survives the most in hear to hear matchups.

  16. Evan 2 years ago

    I have been crying for this move for weeks now. Just makes too much sense for both sides. The Rangers look very good on paper. Leadoff hitter + middle-lineup pop + solid SP + nasty bullpen is always a good formula for postseason success. Like the Red Sox, they are quickly becoming a team without holes.

  17. RyanWKrol 2 years ago

    Good move to bring some good OBP to the top of a lineup that’s been in decline the past 2 years. Should provide Beltre and Fielder with ample opportunities in 2014.

    • Gunner65 2 years ago

      Good move but for for too long. Love the player just not the years. Same reason my Reds may grow to eventually regret their deal with Votto long term imo

  18. Is it actual analysis to say that the team will be contender if everyone plays to their career stats and shows no signs of decline due to age or previous injuries?

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