April 18, 2014

MLB Free Agency: Shin-Soo Choo signs massive 7-year deal with Texas

We knew former Indian outfielder Shin-Soo Choo was due for a huge payday this offseason after playing last season with Cincinnati. We just didn’t know how big until rumors surfaced that Choo turned down a 7-year, $140 million deal from the Yankees. He signed a 7-year deal for $130 million with the Texas Rangers this afternoon, though Texas’s lack of income tax puts more money in his pocket than the Yankee deal would have.

Texas just signed a new cable agreement for $1.6 billion for the next 20 years. Seattle signed a similar lucrative deal, and it explains why these AL West teams have been two of the biggest spenders this offseason. The Rangers acquired Prince Fielder in a trade with the Tigers involving Ian Kinsler, and the Mariners have signed Robinson Cano, Corey Hart, and traded for Logan Morrison. The Indians’ deal pays that significantly less annually per Tony Lastoria.

Choo played in Cleveland from 2006-2012. He gets this outrageous free agent deal at age 31, having never hit more than 22 homers, stole more than 22 bases, or drove in more than 90 runs. Choo did hit .285 last season with a .885 OPS in Cincy last year in addition to being a 20-20 guy.

This will likely take Texas out of the big starter market, which leaves one less landing place for the big name starters left on the market, including Indians starter Ubaldo Jimenez. The market is largely waiting for 25-year-old Japanese pitcher Masahiro Tanaka to sign, and everyone else will fall in line after that.

Related: Outman in – Tribe bullpen takes shape before the calendar turns

  • mgbode

    Good for Choo. Especially since it is not with the Yankees.

  • Harv 21

    yes, good for Choo and for salesman Boras. What a great country – sure beats patrolling near the 38th parallel. But for Texas, man, smells like it has a chance at being of a real boondoggle of a move. This is not an MVP-type, just a good to very good player who I suspect has already peaked.

  • Steve

    To be fair, if he was this good but playing in Korea (or Japan for that matter) he wouldn’t be in the army anyway. The exemption for celebrities is pretty easy to acquire.

    And around 18.5 million a year no longer buys you MVP talent on the FA market. He’ll be about the 25th highest paid player in the game, which, once you account for the fact that quite a few guys are still pre-FA, from Trout and McCutchen, to Kipnis and Santana, that sounds about right to me.

  • woofersus

    The length of deals and the ages of guys getting them has been a little surprising this season more than the amount of money. I’m not sure if I think Choo has peaked, but he can’t be far from it. He’ll be making an awful lot for a 37-38 year old in a few years. Even more so for the Cano deal. And Beltran hasn’t really dropped off much at the age of 36, but he’ll be making $15 million at the age of 39 in NY at the end of that contract.
    I think all three of those guys are worth their money this year, but it will be interesting to see how those contracts affect those teams in a few years. Even the Yankees are feeling the affects of A-Rod’s deal now that he’s useless. They’re still big spenders, but they still have holes to fill and I bet they’d like to have another $27 million available about now.

  • BisonDeleSightings

    Now, maybe he can afford to call a cab.