Tag: Shin-Soo Choo

Shin-Soo Choo Injury: Updates on Rangers OF’s Forearm and Return

Texas Rangers outfielder Shin-Soo Choo suffered a fractured left forearm during Monday’s game against the Oakland Athletics, per TR Sullivan of MLB.com.

Continue for updates.

Latest on Choo’s Recovery Timeline

Tuesday, Aug. 16

Jeff Wilson of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reported that Choo will be out indefinitely after having a plate inserted in his left arm on Wednesday.

Choo Provides Quality Power Bat When Healthy

This is yet another physical setback for Choo this year. He went to the disabled list with a back injury in July after already spending time on the DL with a strained hamstring and calf ailment in April.

The 34-year-old veteran has struggled some at the plate as a result. He was slashing .250/.369/.421 with seven home runs and 17 RBI this year entering Monday’s game.

He does have a solid track record to fall back on, despite his health concerns this year. He slashed .276/.375/.463 in 2015 for Texas and drilled 22 home runs. It was his fourth season of his career with at least 20 long balls, and he also counts three different campaigns with a batting average of .300 or better.

When healthy, Choo brings pop to the Rangers order, but they will have to look elsewhere until (or if) he returns as they attempt to maintain their positioning in the playoff race in the American League West.

Nomar Mazara is one candidate in his first full season in the majors. He has brought power of his own to the Texas order when given playing time and has 13 home runs in 2016. Mazara will likely have the opportunity to add to those totals with even more playing time given this injury to Choo.

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Shin-Soo Choo Injury: Updates on Rangers OF’s Back and Return

Texas Rangers outfielder Shin-Soo Choo is heading to the 15-day disabled list with a back injury, per Stefan Stevenson of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.  

Continue for updates.

Choo Received Anti-Inflammatory Injection

Wednesday, July 20

Stevenson noted Choo made his first start since the All-Star break on Tuesday and was dealing with lower back stiffness before receiving the injection. Stevenson wrote that “the Rangers hope he’s able to return in two weeks.”

This is another setback for Choo after he went on the disabled list earlier in the year because of a strained hamstring. That happened one game after he returned from a previous DL stint with a calf injury.

Thus far, Choo has a .260 batting average, seven home runs and 17 RBI in 2016.

Losing him for significant time would be a blow for the Rangers, considering he is a productive force at the plate who has been in the big leagues since 2005. He has registered a .300 batting average or better in three different seasons and has four years of 20 or more home runs on his resume, including the 2015 campaign, when he drilled 22 long balls and tallied 82 RBI for Texas.

While Choo helped the Rangers reach the postseason last year, they will likely turn toward the future when looking for a replacement.

The 22-year-old Joey Gallo and 21-year-old Nomar Mazara are both options. MLB.com ranked them as the organization’s No. 1 and No. 2 prospects, respectively, in 2015, which is a testament to how much potential they both bring to the table.

The future is bright for the Rangers with those two, but the team could still use a healthy Choo as it chases a playoff spot in the difficult American League West.

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Shin-Soo Choo Injury: Updates on Rangers OF’s Hamstring and Return

Texas Rangers outfielder Shin-Soo Choo was placed on the disabled list Monday because of a strained hamstring.

Continue for updates.   

No Timetable for Choo’s Return

Monday, May 23

T.R. Sullivan of MLB.com reported on Choo’s trip to the DL. The Fort Worth Star-Telegram‘s Jeff Wilson reported on the muddled forecast for when Choo can return to the field.

Choo has a nice blend of power, speed and defense that makes him a solid everyday starter. His 3.5 WAR rating from last year, per ESPN.com, showed he’s well above a replacement-level player.

After appearing in 149 games last season, though, Choo hit the disabled list early in the 2016 campaign because of a calf injury. That ailment was expected to keep Choo out for a longer stretch of games than the 33-year-old missed in all of 2015.

But when Choo first went down, it created a chance for 21-year-old prodigy Nomar Mazara to take over in right field.

Mazara has immense upside and has proved himself ready to roll in the big leagues, evidenced by Texas’ decision to plug him in at the No. 2 spot in the lineup for his debut and his .304 batting average entering Monday.

The Rangers therefore don’t have to rush Choo back into action. They can keep giving Mazara game reps so he can gain experience, which will expedite his development and enhance his chances of becoming a true franchise cornerstone.

Especially since he’s already gone down with a rather severe injury this year, Choo should be given maximum time to recover so he’s fit enough to help Texas on a prospective playoff push.

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Shin-Soo Choo Injury: Updates on Rangers OF’s Calf and Return

Texas Rangers outfielder Shin-Soo Choo was placed on the disabled list on Sunday after he suffered a calf strain during pregame warm-ups on Saturday. An exact return date has yet to be announced.

Continue for updates.

Choo Placed on 15-Day DL

Sunday, April 10

John Blake of TexasRangers.com revealed that Choo was placed on the 15-day disabled list and that outfielder Nomar Mazara was recalled.

The Rangers announced that Mazar was starting in right field and batting second in the lineup against the Los Angeles Angels on Sunday.

Choo battled ankle injuries and missed 39 games during the 2014 campaign but was healthier and showed improvement last season. The 33-year-old veteran batted .276 with 22 home runs and 82 RBI, including a .404 batting average in September.

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Top 5 Fantasy Baseball Disappointments of 2014

Like all fantasy sports, the key to success in fantasy baseball is understanding value. Failure to understand value can lead an owner to mislabel a player as a disappointment, while understanding value can give an owner a late-round steal.

To determine value, you must consider what you gave up when you selected a certain player in the draft. Did you grab an elite catcher early because of the scarcity of that position? Or did you simply draft the best players, regardless of position? 

Jose Abreu, whose ESPN average draft position was 134th (only five spots ahead of Alfonso Soriano), has obviously exceeded the expectations of a 13th-round pick. Yet Yadier Molina and Dustin Pedroia, players considered to be the class of their positions, have vastly underwhelmed. The price paid to grab these players early in drafts has been far higher than their actual production.

For the sake of clarity, the following list of disappointments is composed only of position players. A player can only be considered a “disappointment” if his current ESPN Player Rater ranking is at least 100 spots worse than his average draft position. Also, all players must currently be owned in 100 percent of standard ESPN fantasy baseball leagues. Players who have missed time due to injury, such as Carlos Gonzalez, Jay Bruce and Bryce Harper, are excluded.  

Here are the top five fantasy disappointments as we approach the halfway point of the 2014 season.


Statistics are accurate through June 19 and are obtained from MLB.com, ESPN.com, Baseball-Reference.com and FanGraphs.com.

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Report: Shin-Soo Choo Headed to the Texas Rangers on 7-Year, $130 Million Deal

According to a source who has confirmed the deal to Greg Johns of MLB.com, free-agent outfielder Shin-Soo Choo will be the newest Texas Ranger.

Jon Morosi of Fox Sports also confirmed the deal through a source, in this tweet:

MLB.com’s report also indicates that Choo agreed to a seven-year deal worth $130 million. 

Earlier this week, Jeff Passan of Yahoo! Sports reported that Choo had turned down a seven-year, $140 million deal from the New York Yankees. The tweet seemed to leave many Ranger faithful doubtful that the team could sign Choo.

But despite any sour feelings, the Rangers were indeed able to grab one of baseball’s premier leadoff hitters. It was widely thought that general manager Jon Daniels would continue his waiting game a bit longer in an attempt to lower Choo‘s price. I certainly didn’t expect JD to make this move for at least another couple of weeks.

This was a situation of true compromise for JD and agent Scott Boras. It appears that both parties were able to get at least one advantage in the contract, while conceding another to make the deal work.

In the end, JD was able to bring Choo‘s price down by between $10 to $15 million, based on the figures reported by Passan, while Boras was still able to squeeze out a seven-year contract for his client. 

Last week, Morosi reported each team’s apparent limits quite clearly:

I know what many of you are thinking: $130 million is a steep price for a 31-year-old.

Remember, though, if the Rangers were going to sign Choo, it was going to take huge money. There was simply no way around that. In the end, this is a better deal for Texas than many of you might think.

Of course, JD having to go to the seventh year is not ideal. Five or six years would have been the best-case scenario. But like I said, both parties had to bend a bit, and Boras‘ concession appears to be less money per year.

Keep in mind that Boras is as tough as nails with contract negotiations. JD held his own admirably here.

Additionally, the Rangers will lose a first-round pick to Choo‘s former team, the Cincinnati Reds. The Reds extended Choo a qualifying offer earlier in the offseason, and a compensatory pick is attached to his signing with any other team.

Texas will get that pick back when Nelson Cruz signs elsewhere. 

But make no mistake: Choo was an absolute need for the Rangers. His signing not only gives Texas likely the best leadoff hitter in the American League, but it also puts the team in direct position to compete for the World Series for the next few seasons.

In my piece two days ago, I laid out the intricate details of how Choo will immensely add to this Rangers lineup. Take a look at that to get a complete breakdown of why Choo could very likely be the one missing piece for Texas.

Choo figures to slide into left field for the Rangers. That is obviously the primary benefit. But don’t underestimate the value of the secondary benefits in play here: Michael Choice is no longer in a potentially high-pressure situation. It was believed that he was the team’s top candidate to play left field, if Choo or Cruz wasn’t signed.

Now that an established and proven outfielder is roaming left, Choice has the advantage of possibly starting the year in Triple-A Round Rock and continuing his development.

Also, Choo‘s signing solidifies Mitch Moreland‘s role with the team. Especially after handing out a contract of that size, having a power source like Moreland for dirt cheap is a beautiful thing for the payroll.

I do believe that manager Ron Washington will call on him to give first baseman Prince Fielder a rest for a few games if needed. But I’m not expecting that to be often.

This signing should move center fielder Leonys Martin down in the batting order. As I’ve said in the past, he has a lightning uppercut swing, which gives him impressive bat speed but also opens up holes in it. He has a power stroke that could really be maximized hitting lower in the order. 

As it does for Choice, Choo taking over the leadoff spot puts Martin in a much more comfortable situation to continue developing as a hitter.

Finally, JD has eliminated the positional logjam, or potential for one, from every position. Every player now has a clear role and position.

I see this deal as one that addressed several team needs, just like the Fielder trade did. Here’s one way to look at it: For seven years and $130 million, JD solved every one of the Rangers’ remaining positional issues, whether it be personnel-related or just clearing out the lineup in general.

If you are still a bit shell-shocked for the worse, here’s what the Ranger lineup could look like in 2014: 

  • LF Shin-Soo Choo, and his .423 OBP from last year
  • SS Elvis Andrus
  • 1B Prince Fielder
  • 3B Adrian Beltre
  • RF Alex Rios
  • DH Mitch Moreland
  • C Geovany Soto
  • CF Leonys Martin
  • 2B Jurickson Profar


  • C JP Arencibia
  • UTL Adam Rosales
  • OF Engel Beltre

At first glance, the 7-9 portion of the order may appear a bit weak. The important thing to remember here is that the Rangers are counting on the development of both Profar and Martin. I fully expect both to make significant jumps at the plate this season.

In general, this lineup has the look of one of the most complete in baseball. Speed at the bottom and top, and a nice power element with Choo. Speed is also in the middle with Alex Rios. There is an impressive barrage of power in the heart of the order with Fielder, Beltre and Moreland. Rios also has some pop in his bat.

If Profar and Martin play even close to their expectations for 2014, this team can seriously contend for a World Series. That isn’t quite as a big of an “if” as you might think. Martin showed inspiring flashes in 2013, as did Profar.  

Hitting at the bottom of the order allows those two guys to succeed in a position they are comfortable in. That’s the key with this team now: Choo may have a plethora of roles, and he does, but every player is now cemented into his spot offensively. Each guy brings something to the table.

The mantra of this club should now really be: just get on base. 

The “Choo Choo Train,” as he has been called, does that better than almost anyone on the planet. Everyone else simply needs to follow suit.

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Does Shin-Soo Choo Give Rangers Best Lineup in MLB?

In the long run, it’s hard to know how the Texas Rangers‘ decision to dole out over a quarter of a billion dollars to Prince Fielder and Shin-Soo Choo will work out. In 2014, though, the team arguably boasts the best lineup in MLB.

What makes the addition of Choo such a shrewd move for the Rangers is that the 31-year-old is equally at home in both table-setting and table-clearing roles. In 2013, Choo posted a .423 OBP, which was the fourth best in all of baseball. He also clubbed 21 home runs and produced a .462 slugging percentage.

That means that Rangers manager Ron Washington can plug Choo into the leadoff spot or drop him into a run-producing role. Here’s what the Rangers lineup projects to be with Choo leading off:

  • Choo, LF
  • Elvis Andrus, SS
  • Adrian Beltre, 3B
  • Prince Fielder, 1B
  • Alex Rios, RF
  • Mitch Moreland, DH
  • Geovany Soto, C
  • Leonys Martin, CF
  • Jurickson Profar, 2B

The other option would be utilize Martin in the leadoff role and to push Choo further down the lineup:

  • Martin
  • Andrus
  • Choo
  • Beltre
  • Fielder
  • Rios
  • Moreland
  • Soto
  • Profar

Any lineup with Fielder in the fifth spot will be a nightmare for opposing pitchers. As Jeff Passan of Yahoo! Sports remarks, “My goodness is the Rangers’ potential lineup scary.” But is it necessarily the best in all of baseball?

In 2013, the Boston Red Sox could stake a claim to that honor. The World Series champions posted a .795 OPS as a team, which was No. 1 in all of baseball. While the Red Sox have retained a major run producer in Mike Napoli, the team has lost a major run provider in Jacoby Ellsbury. In 2013, Ellsbury scored a team-leading 92 runs while posting a .355 OBP and swiping 52 bases in 56 attempts. 

In 2013, the Detroit Tigers also had one of the best lineups in MLB. The club’s collective .785 OPS was second only to the Red Sox. Like Boston, though, the Tigers have also suffered a major defection this offseason. The club managed to get out from under Fielder’s massive contract, but his high level of production will be heading out of town as well. 

Miguel Cabrera will step in for Fielder at first base, and top prospect Nick Castellanos will take over at third base. According to Jonathan Mayo of MLB.com, Castellanos is the 11th-best prospect in all of the minor leagues. Still, to expect a player who posted a .793 OPS in Triple-A last year to produce at Fielder’s level is a serious reach.  

It’s also worth noting that the Tigers haven’t necessarily improved at second base, either. Check out how Omar Infante‘s stats from 2013 compare to those of Ian Kinsler:

  • Infante: .318/.345/.450, 10 home runs
  • Kinsler: .277/.344/.413, 13 home runs

The Tigers clearly added some major payroll flexibility this offseason but at the cost of weakening the lineup in 2014. 

The Rangers, meanwhile, have followed the exact opposite approach. The team has opened itself up to some serious exposure by taking on seven-year contracts for both Fielder and Choo. By around 2017, neither one of those deals is likely to be terribly favorable for the Rangers.

In 2014, though, Texas will have the most dangerous lineup in baseball. 


Note: Stats via Baseball-Reference.com.


If you want to talk baseball find me on Twitter @KarlBuscheck

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Shin-Soo Choo Gets 7 Years and $130 Million, Does He Deserve It?

As was reported earlier today by Bob Nightengale of USA Today, free-agent outfielder Shin-Soo Choo has agreed to sign a seven-year, $130 million deal with the Texas Rangers. There’s no doubt that Choo‘s value comes from his ability to get on base, so the big contract for a player without gaudy power numbers is unusual. 

Based on the Moneyball philosophy, Choo is theoretically worth the money, but isn’t the entire point of the Moneyball philosophy that you don’t have to spend a lot of cash to get underrated production? A deeper look into Choo‘s 2013 numbers can shed some light on whether or not he deserves the mega contract that he received. 


Choo‘s 2013 Stats (via Baseball Reference): 

.285/.423/.885 with 21 home runs and 54 RBIs, 107 runs and 20 steals. 


Certainly the fact that Choo does everything pretty well contributed to the fact that he got such a big deal. Basically, you’re not going to see a guy get almost $20 million annually for hitting 21 home runs. By the same coin, a player isn’t going to get a big contract for hitting .285 or stealing 20 bases.

However, when you group Choo‘s slightly above-average power with his ability to get on base, steal bases and score runs, he’s worth the money that he got. 

The real question is whether or not Choo can perform through his entire contract. He will be 38 by the end of his deal and his legs are going to be starting to go by then. Obviously, that takes away a major part of his value. Clearly, though, as shown by huge contracts given to 30-somethings such as Albert Pujols and Robinson Cano, teams are willing to pay more later to win now. 

In the end, a player is worth as much as he can command on the open market and Choo majorly cashed in today. This contract for a player whose bread and butter is getting on base and scoring runs is a testament to the changing nature of team-building philosophy.

Perhaps due in part to the popularization of Moneyball economics, guys who can get on base and score runs are now valued equally with guys who can hit 50 home runs a season.

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How Shin-Soo Choo Free-Agent Deal Impacts 2014 AL Pennant Race

Remember the days when the Texas Rangers had one of the scariest offenses in the American League?

Thanks to their latest addition, it looks like a given they’ll have one of those once again in 2014—and the American League pennant race will be all the more interesting because of it.

If you haven’t yet heard the latest, the top player left on the free-agent market is going to be a Ranger. As Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com first reported, 31-year-old outfielder Shin-Soo Choo is joining Texas on a seven-year, $130 million deal.

Choo’s agent, Scott Boras, told gathered reporters (h/t ESPN) during the winter meetings that his client brought a lot to the table.

“Shin-Soo Choo is a good fit for rebuilding teams and ‘now’ teams,” Boras said. “He’s a teacher and a great example for both the younger players and the veterans. He’s like frosting. He fills a lot of cakes.”

Choo fits with the Rangers in left field and at the top of their lineup in the leadoff spot, and he promises to be a significant upgrade for the latter. While the Rangers’ leadoff spot was hardly a weak spot in 2013, it should be a major strength in 2014.

For perspective, here’s a comparison of what the Rangers got out of their leadoff spot in 2013 and what Choo has done as a leadoff hitter over the last two seasons:

It was mainly Ian Kinsler handling leadoff duties for the Rangers in 2013, and he did a fine job, with a .355 OBP over 443 plate appearances. But Kinsler is in Detroit now, and nobody will miss him all that much if Choo lives up to what he’s done as a leadoff man over the last two seasons.

The Rangers also have to like that Choo brings some left-handed power as well, as that’s something they sorely lacked in 2013.

With Josh Hamilton in their lineup in 2012, the Rangers got a .226 Isolated Power out of their left-handed hitters. That was tops in MLB. With Hamilton gone in 2013, Rangers lefties combined for just a .144 ISO. That put them in the middle of the pack.

Choo has hit 37 home runs with a .168 ISO over the last two seasons. That’s not exactly Hamilton-esque pop, but he’s not the only new lefty hitter the Rangers have to replace what was lost when Hamilton bolted for Anaheim.

Prince Fielder’s in the mix as well, of course. Steamer projections have him down as a good bet for more power than the .178 ISO and 25 homers he produced for the Detroit Tigers in 2013. Per FanGraphs, Steamer has Fielder producing a .212 ISO and 27 home runs in 2014.

With Choo in the leadoff spot and Fielder in the middle, there’s no denying the Rangers have themselves a fine-looking lineup:

After leading the American League in runs scored in 2012, the Rangers plummeted to seventh in 2013. It was the first time they’d finished outside the top four since 2009.

Just a hunch: That won’t be happening again. The 2014 season should see the Rangers return to their perch as one of the Junior Circuit’s elite run-scoring teams.

The catch, however, is that the extra offense looks like less of a luxury and more of a necessity. While Texas general manager Jon Daniels has upgraded his offense this winter, he’s done so while neglecting his pitching staff.

Statistically, the pitching in Texas was just fine in 2013. By FanGraphs’ WAR, the Rangers had the second-most productive pitching in MLB and the second-most productive starting pitching to boot.

On the starting pitching front, though, a huge amount of that production was coming from the top:

The best starter the Rangers had after Darvish and Holland was Martin Perez, who finished with a 1.6 WAR that looked less impressive than his 3.62 ERA. Steamer doesn’t see much improvement in the cards for Perez in 2014, as a modest 1.8 WAR is projected for him.

The top WAR projected for any Rangers starter after Darvish and Holland is for Matt Harrison at 2.3. That’s based on if he makes 29 starts, which is assuming a lot given that Harrison had two back surgeries and one shoulder surgery in 2013.

So barring any additional moves, the Rangers are probably looking at having a top-heavy starting rotation all over again in 2014. Factor in that Joe Nathan, he of the 1.39 ERA in 2013, will be absent from the bullpen, and their pitching staff will need a few things to go right to maintain its 2013 level of production.

Looking at what the Rangers have on paper, I’d say the total package does look better than what the they had last season. Rather than a 91-win team, they look like they could end up in the 92-to-95 range in 2014.

But no more than that. The question marks on the mound will keep the Rangers’ win total in check. It also has to be acknowledged that, for all the runs they’re going to add with their bats, Choo and Fielder are likely to take a few away with their gloves.

Another thing that has to be acknowledged is that the division around the Rangers is set to be much deeper than it was in 2013.

The Seattle Mariners have added Robinson Cano, Logan Morrison and Corey Hart to a lineup that sorely needed some impact bats. On top of that, they have some high-upside youngsters in the mix for 2014 in Mike Zunino, Brad Miller and Taijuan Walker. Seattle should be a better team.

The Los Angeles Angels added some much-needed pitching depth in Hector Santiago and Tyler Skaggs, as well as a new third baseman in David Freese. If Mike Trout continues to be amazing and Josh Hamilton and Albert Pujols get some life breathed into them, the Angels should also be a better team.

The Houston Astros, meanwhile, have added a needed innings-eater in Scott Feldman and a quality center fielder in Dexter Fowler. At the least, they won’t be any worse in 2014.

Then there are the Oakland A’s. They’ve been swapping bodies around all winter, and it’s largely been for the better. Scott Kazmir is a solid replacement for Bartolo Colon, and other key arrivals include defense specialist Craig Gentry and underrated setup man Luke Gregerson. 

The Rangers certainly ensured that they’re going to be a good team in 2014 with their signing of Choo, but they shouldn’t be mistaken for a superpower that’s going to run away with the AL West. In addition to them still having their weaknesses, the division is too deep—to a point where it might even be the deepest division in the American League.

We can say this, though: There is something to be said about the value of playing in a deep division.

Just take a look at what happened in 2013. The Boston Red Sox emerged victorious from easily the deepest American League division in the AL East. The St. Louis Cardinals emerged victorious from easily the deepest National League division in the NL Central. On their way to the World Series, they certainly looked like the two most battle-hardened clubs baseball had to offer.

The rest of the American League should keep a watchful eye on the Rangers and the rest of the AL West in 2014. Whether it’s them or somebody else, whoever emerges from that division is going to be a tough customer in October.


Note: Stats courtesy of Baseball-Reference.com unless otherwise noted/linked. 


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Shin-Soo Choo Reportedly Signs 7-Year Contract with Texas Rangers

The Texas Rangers will have a big boost to their offense in 2014 after reportedly signing Shin-Soo Choo to a seven-year, $130 million contract. 

Jon Heyman of CBS Sports first reported the deal:

Yahoo! Sports’ Jeff Passan confirmed and added more detail:

Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports reports that the contract had first been proposed at winter meetings, and provided more details of the cash breakdown:

Of course, Passan had previously reported that Choo and agent Scott Boras turned down a seven-year, $140 million offer from the New York Yankees. 

Choo posted his third career 20-20 season in 2013 when he totaled 21 home runs and 20 stolen bases primarily as a leadoff hitter for the Cincinnati Reds. The 31-year-old batted .285, and his .423 on-base percentage ranked fourth in the majors.

While his on-base percentage in 2013 was a career-high, he’s posted marks of .350 or better eight times. His mixture of speed, power and discipline at the plate make him one of the better leadoff hitters in the game.

He also showcased the ability to handle center field last season, although he mostly played right field throughout his seven years with the Cleveland Indians. 

Of course, Choo comes with some negatives. 

The left-hander struggled immensely against fellow lefties in 2013, hitting .215 against them compared to .317 against right-handed pitchers. He also did not have a single home run this past season against a southpaw in 181 at-bats (388 at-bats versus righties). 

Additionally, this acquisition will cost the Rangers their first available draft pick because the Reds offered Choo a $14.1 million qualifying offer

Despite the risks, this deal represents a big addition to a club that needs help in the outfield. 


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