Most executives and scouts expected Shin-Soo Choo to wind up with the Rangers, ESPN.com's Jerry Crasnick reports. Sources say Choo liked Texas because of its recent run of success, the growing Korean population in the Dallas-Fort Worth area and because the team conducts Spring Training in Arizona. While GM Jon Daniels would have also been comfortable re-signing Nelson Cruz to a shorter deal, the agreement shows that MLB executives prefer to have their rosters complete before Christmas, Crasnick says. Here's more on the deal from around baseball:
- The signing makes Texas one of the AL's best teams, ESPN.com's Keith Law says, writing that Choo could be worth 6 wins in 2014 because of the defensive boost he's likely to get after transitioning out of center field. However, Law notes that it's also a lengthy contract for a player who struggles mightily against left-handed pitching.
- The Mariners appear to be one of the losers following the signing, according to Law, who says Seattle projects as the fourth-best team in the AL West even after inking Robinson Cano. Choo would have also been a good fit for the Tigers, who Law says have had a puzzling offseason thus far.
- A source close to Choo says the outfielder considered the Rangers his "clear first choice," FOX Sports' Ken Rosenthal writes. While Texas will enter 2014 with more left-handed hitters in its lineup, the club appears to be the AL West's best as things currently stand, Rosenthal says. He adds that the signing takes the Rangers out of the running for Masahiro Tanaka, if he's eventually posted.
- Anthony Castrovince profiles Choo in an article for MLB.com, lauding his work ethic.
- Evan Grant of The Dallas Morning News writes that the deal completes a Texas offseason in which the team managed to achieve nearly all of its goals. The club had intended to keep its payroll around $125MM.
- While the Yankees weren't able to sign Choo, Anthony McCarron of the New York Daily News says the deal may ultimately help the Yanks because it eliminates Texas as a potential suitor for Masahiro Tanaka.