The Rangers' seven-year, $130MM agreement with Shin-Soo Choo brings total spending this offseason to around $1.543 billion, according to Yahoo Sports' Jeff Passan. With players such as Ervin Santana, Matt Garza and Ubaldo Jimenez still available, the 2006 record of approximately $1.75 billion appears likely to be broken, and spending is certain to eclipse $2 billion if Masahiro Tanaka is posted. There simply isn't anywhere else to put the game's booming revenues now that spending has been capped in the draft and international free agency, Passan writes. Let's look at more late-night links from the AL and NL West:
- The Choo signing shows why Jon Daniels is one of the game's best general managers, Jean-Jacques Taylor of ESPNDallas.com opines. While the Rangers only narrowly missed the playoffs in 2013, swapping Ian Kinsler for Prince Fielder and bringing Choo into the fold indicate the front office understood that a major revamp of the Texas offense was required.
- Evan Drellich of the Houston Chronicle notes that the Astros have acquired a trio of ground ball-heavy pitchers this winter in Scott Feldman and relievers Matt Albers and Chad Qualls. The focus on grounders is an "organizational preference detectable even in the amateur draft," Drellich writes.
- Mark Kotsay will remain in the Padres organization as a special assistant to GM Josh Byrnes after retiring at the end of the 2013 season, Bill Center of U-T San Diego reports.