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.
— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) December 21, 2013
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.
By contrast, the Indians new TV deal pays them $40M a year. Peanuts compared to what some of these other teams are getting in new deals.
— Tony Lastoria (@TonyIBI) December 21, 2013
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.