Rangers boost offense with on-base star Choo

The Rangers have made another Texas-sized deal to improve their offense.

Free agent outfielder Shin-Soo Choo agreed to a $130 million, seven-year contract with the Rangers, the Associated Press reported Saturday.

Choo is expected to have a physical early this week and be introduced after Christmas.

The deal came a month after the Rangers acquired five-time All-Star first baseman Prince Fielder in a trade with Detroit for second baseman Ian Kinsler, their primary leadoff hitter.

Texas now gets the best offensive player left in free agency, with both additions to be under contract through the 2020 season.

Choo's deal, worth about $18.6 million per season, is the third-highest this offseason. Second baseman Robinson Cano got $240 million over 10 years from the Mariners and outfielder Jacoby Ellsbury, like Choo a client of agent Scott Boras, signed a $153 million, seven-year contract with the Yankees.

Choo could be at the top or in the middle of the Texas lineup. He was Cincinnati's leadoff hitter for 143 games last season, when he had a .423 on-base percentage with 20 stolen bases and 21 home runs.

The Rangers missed the playoffs for the first time in four years, with 730 runs that were their fewest in a non-strike season since 1992. Texas, which went to its only World Series in 2010 and 2011 and lost in the AL's first wild-card game in 2012, lost at home to the Rays in a wild-card tiebreaker.

Choo, 31, has a .288 career batting average and .389 OBP with 104 home runs and 427 RBIs in 853 major-league games for Seattle (2005-06), Cleveland (2006-12) and Cincinnati. The South Korean has had at least 20 homers and 20 stolen bases three times, including last season.

D'BACKS: Catcher Henry Blanco, 42, agreed to a minor-league contract.

MARLINS: Outfielder Jordany Valdespin, 25, agreed to a minor-league contract. Valdespin served a 50-game suspension this season for his ties to Biogenesis, the Miami-area clinic accused of distributing performance-enhancing drugs.

NATIONALS: Catcher Chris Snyder, 32, agreed to a minor-league contract with an invitation to spring training.

Rangers boost offense with on-base star Choo 12/21/13 [Last modified: Saturday, December 21, 2013 9:15pm]

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