Saturday, December 21, 2013
No matter how much baseball owners moan and groan, their brethren continue to give out bad contracts. Robinson Cano's 10-year, $240MM deal, Jacoby Ellsbury's seven-year, $153MM contract and reportedly Shin-Soo Choo's seven-year, $130MM agreement with the Texas Rangers. The native of South Korea will join his fourth organization after stints in Seattle, Cleveland, and Cincinnati.
Choo reportedly turned down a seven-year, $140MM offer from the Yankees, but still cashed in for plenty of greenbacks Saturday according to CBS Sports' Jon Heyman. Agent Scott Boras had characterized Choo as an "On-base machine" as he pushed for his client to get a big money deal.
The contract would pay Choo an annual average salary in excess of $18MM and therein lies the problem. Choo is a very good player, but he's not an upper echelon player, just as Ellsbury (on a consistent basis) is not. Playing his home games in 2013 at Cincy's hitter friendly Great American Ballpark, Choo had an .885 OPS with 21 home runs, 34 doubles, 20 stolen bases, 112 walks and 107 runs scored as the primary lead off hitter in the Reds lineup.
The base on balls were a career high and the first time he surpassed the century mark in a single season. He also led the National League with 26 hit by pitches. Choo was a regular center fielder for the time in his career last season, but he'll likely man a corner spot in 2014 with Texas.