Heyman: Rangers agree to seven-year deal with Shin-Soo Choo


Via Jon Heyman: The Rangers and Shin-Soo Choo have agreed to a seven-year contract worth $130M. The Yankees reportedly offered the outfielder seven years and $140M before signing Carlos Beltran, but Choo might still come out ahead financially because there’s no income tax in Texas. I dunno, whatever.

I preferred Choo to Jacoby Ellsbury this winter — apparently that puts me in the minority — simply because I thought he fit New York’s roster better. Forget about the contracts, a super-high OBP guy with 20+ homer power addressed two of the Yankees’ biggest needs (OBP and power!) way better than another singles-hitting speedster. Don’t get me wrong, Ellsbury is really good, but Choo made more sense in my opinion. Oh well. Joel Sherman says Texas was Choo’s first choice anyway.

Categories : Asides, Hot Stove League


  1. crawdaddy says:

    He doesn’t pay state taxes in Seattle, Arlington and Houston which is almost 100 games per year over the length of the contract. Also, doesn’t NYC have a high city tax too?

  2. OldYanksFan says:

    Stupid Cashman.
    Offering too much money to get his man.

  3. Yeah, I would have taken Choo over Ellsbury as well, oh well.

    • JustTheLaw says:

      Consider that getting Ellsberry ALSO means taking him AWAY from the Sox. Choo doesn’t add that sprinkle of joy regardless of whether you think one is better than the other. (Personally, I’d take Ellsberry and his heart over Choo any day but this should provide some solace to those less sure).

  4. FLYER7 says:

    Mike, you are in the minority on Choo over Ellsbury, for sure…no comparison,

    • mitch says:

      I agree. Choo might be a better fit for this particular lineup, but over 7 years I think Ellsbury fits better. Choo’s best position right now is DH…locking up a guy like that for 7 years is scary.

      • Mike says:

        I believe that Ellsbury’s strengths are more likely to hold over the contract than Choo. Ellsbury has a better chance of being durable also.

      • qwerty says:

        In two years Ellsbury will probably be down to 15-20 stolen bases a season for the yankees. What good will he be then with his low OBP, and lack of power?

        • Laz says:

          A guy with 52 sb will only steal 1/3 of that in 2 years… Lol.

          • forensic says:

            Carl Crawford did it. Rafael Furcal did it. Michael Bourn nearly did it. Juan Pierre did it in 3 years.

            Is it unlikely? Sure. But it’s also not unheard of.

          • qwerty says:

            Gardner is down to 24. I don’t know why you find this so shocking. It happens. Don’t be surprised if Ellsbury on steals 30 next season. His sb numbers will continue to plummet from here on out. The only way he’ll stay healthy enough to continue his sb numbers is if he takes PEDs like he did in 2011.

  5. StanS says:

    He’s a high priced platoon player. Not interested.

  6. OldYanksFan says:

    Oh… I gotta guess for whatever reason, Choo didn’t want to play for the Yankees.
    So much for Boras’s $153m.

  7. BFDeal says:

    Cashman failed. He never even tried to lower his offer to their true demands.

  8. OldYanksFan says:

    Fangraphs has a ‘comparison’ page.
    That don’t do War or OPS, but in just about every offensive stat (except for SB/SB%), Choo is well ahead.

  9. JGYank says:

    I would of preferred him to Beltran, but he is probably going to become a platoon player down the road. Love the OBP, he fits our park, and we could of hid him in right but 7 years for a possible platoon player with bad defense isn’t a great deal for $140M. His upside is his OBP, he his able to go 20/20 in any season and maybe his arm. Beltran has more power, but gets on base much less, and isn’t great defensively either and is worse on the bases than Choo. Choo is younger and would destroy RHP and would do very well in YS which would boost his power to complement his OBP. Beltran could fall off a cliff even with help from YS due to his age.

    With Ells vs. Choo, Ells simply has more ways to contribute and has fewer flaws (excluding the durability questions since he suffered from fluke injuries). He is among the best in the game on the bases, great defense, gets on base at a good clip. Not much power but Choo isn’t too far ahead in that department and Ells did have a 30 HR season. Ells doesn’t hit lefties well, but still better than Choo looking at the last 3 years against lefties. Plus he gives us another CF and that gives flexibility in the outfield. He also had an amazing year in 2011 where I think we was worth around 10 WAR. I would of been happen with either because Choo’s OBP masks his flaws nicely, and especially both, but I expected them to sign Choo and not Ellsbury because we already had Gardy in CF and he and Ells are similar.

    So the Rangers have Beltre Choo Fielder now. Nice top half of the order. Definitely should split up fielder and Choo in the lineup. Their lineup might be 2-Choo 3-Beltre 4-Fielder maybe with Andrus at the top.

  10. I'm a looser and a trader baby so why don't you kill me? says:

    Re: Sherman saying that Choo’s first choice was Texas, wtf is Choo supposed to say at this point? “I preferred NY but my agent told me to wait because he could get more but this offer from Texas which after taxes is actually slightly better was all he could get.”??

    That said, and even if he comes out slightly ahead at 7/130 in Texas vs 7/140 in NY, I hate to hear that a FA prefers somewhere else if the money is more or less the same. I’m still pissed at Lee for spurning our better offer. And if Choo OBP’s .400+ for most of this contract I will add him to my shit list.

  11. EndlessJose says:

    Choo would rather walk than take an rbi.If Ellsbury can be half of what he was in 2011 than he’ll be ten times better than Choo.

    • Steve says:

      You’re throwing these numbers around and I’m not sure you understand what they mean

    • OldYanksFan says:

      Only 10 times?

    • Laz says:

      Honestly I’d much rather a guy take a walk than swing at a good pitch. A walk is a guaranteed base, Many guys are looking at a Babip of maybe .333 if they are lucky. So you are saying the guaranteed base is worse than a 1/3 shot at a base?

      • forensic says:

        Honestly I’d much rather a guy take a walk than swing at a good pitch.

        Than swing at a bad pitch? Sure.

        Than swing at a good pitch? No way. I’d much rather they swing at a good pitch. The walk isn’t advancing any other runners. The walk isn’t going for extra bases. The walk isn’t scoring a guy from 3rd with less than 2 out.

  12. vicki says:

    choo-profar-prince-beltre is helluva half a lineup.

  13. CashmanNinja says:

    I prefer Choo more as an offensive player, but the splits probably don’t bode well down the road. But I still think I’d rather bank on Ellsbury in the long run because of one thing: defense. Choo’s defense kind of…stinks. I made a comparison in the past, but Choo is similar to Nick Swisher. He hits for better average than Swisher, but for a tad less power. But the defense isn’t as good. And when you compare to Ellsbury…yeah, I’ll take the latter. Ellsbury’s injury history is a bit scary, but if Ellsbury could somehow show some power like he did a few years ago then I’ll gladly take him. I simply don’t think Choo provides enough to warrant $100 mil. I wouldn’t have given Swisher $60 mil, but somehow Choo is worth more than twice that? Pft.

    • JGYank says:

      Choo gets on base more than Swish, hits for more average, is a better baserunner, destroys RHP, and has a better arm. He’s better than Swish but I’m not sure if he’s worth $100M mostly because of his defense and platoon splits.

      • CashmanNinja says:

        I said similar. Choo has had the better career and is the better overall player, but I think a player’s arm is EXTREMELY overrated. That doesn’t mean it isn’t important, but I’d much rather have a guy who plays defense well as opposed to the guy with the canon for an arm. I would have liked Choo, but I don’t feel he’s worth nearly that much. I think $75 mil would have been the max and that the Rangers are grossly overpaying for him.

        • JGYank says:

          Fair enough. It’s all a matter of opinion I guess. I don’t mind Choo’s defense too much since he’s mostly a corner outfielder and his OBP makes up for his flaws. If he signed with the Yanks since he wouldn’t have to cover much ground in RF in YS and I seem to value outfield arm strength more than most which is why I would have been ok with him playing the field.

      • OldYanksFan says:

        Choo:: 3- fWar/yr, 3.20 bWar (8 years)
        Swish: 3+ fWar/yr, 2.66 bWar (9 years)

    • qwerty says:

      I believe Choo is on the same scale as Bernie Williams was as far as centerfield defense. It’s hard to judge based on one season, but the statistics appear to back this up. If you can live with Bernie in center you can live with Choo there.

  14. uyf1950 says:

    “a super-high OBP guy with 20+ homer power addressed two of the Yankees’ biggest needs (OBP and power!) way better than another singles-hitting speedster…”

    Lets also put aside that if the Yankees signed both Choo and Beltran to team up with Gardner in CF the 2 outfield corners would have had 2 very defensively challenged players covering them. And lets make no mistake Ellsbury is a better player than Gardner both offensively and defensively putting aside the contracts.

  15. nsalem says:

    On the surface Choo’s numbers (sans splits) are almost identical to Bobby Abreu. I wonder if he’s afraid of walls and crawling things in the dark also.

  16. dicka24 says:

    I’m from Boston, so I’ve seen a lot of Sox games in my life, and I think Ellsbury is a better player than Choo. Ellsbury is an elite defender at a premium position, as well as an elite level base stealer. Choo walks a lot, can’t hit lefties, is deficient in the OF, and while he has a good bat for center, he’s not exactly an elite bat in RF. I think Choo’s the lesser player of the two, especially in the tail ends of these 2 deals. That being said, both contracts are absurd. Both teams vastly overpaid for each player.

  17. xman says:

    Ellsbury over Choo. And it’s not particularly close.

    Ellsbury owns the higher ceiling, hits left-handed pitching, is an elite defensive outfielder (unlike Choo), and an elite baserunner. Like have said, it’s not close.

    not to mention, big market and postseason tested.

  18. RetroRob says:

    I don’t think players go to teams just because there is no state tax. Cano didn’t sign with the Mariners because of the state tax situation. He signed because they offered the most money and the state income tax is a bonus.

    Choo allegedly was offered 7/140 by the Yankees (btw, did the Yankees confirm this?), but reports said they withdrew the offer (or Choo didn’t accept it), so the Yankees then moved on to Ellsbury. The fact they paid Ellsbury more either confirms they value Ellsbury more, or they simply didn’t think Choo’s preference was to play in NY and they wanted to lock down an OFer, so they paid a premium for Ellsbury rather than risk losing Ellsbury, Choo and Cano.

  19. Grover says:

    Let the Nelson Cruz watch begin and end quickly.

  20. There's the Door says:

    More faith in Ellsbury. Proven clutch player.
    Still, Texas is really stacked now. If they get even average back-end relief, they win the west,

  21. Peter says:

    Does the Choo signing open a spot for Gardner in Cincy?

    • CashmanNinja says:

      I doubt it. They have Billy Hamilton and it just seems silly to trade for Gardner when he’s set to become a free agent soon anyway. If they could get him for the right price then sure, but the Yankees would want a *good* pitcher and there’s no way the Reds do that.

  22. OldYanksFan says:

    I think there was a tiny bit of panic in the Ellsbury signing.
    They figured they were gonna lose Cano, so they ABSOLUTELY needed Ellsbury or Shoo, if not both. So the $153m was a $10m-$20m overpay… but the Yanks needed to lock him down.

    I can understand this.

    • Farewell Mo says:

      The Yankees are gonna regret not offering Robby 8/$200.

      • Mr. Roth says:

        Even if they offered that, the end result would still be the same, and Cano would be playing in Seattle. Cano wouldn’t have passed up $40 million dollars to play in NY instead of Seattle.

  23. OldYanksFan says:

    from IIATMS:
    According to Peter Gammons, Stephen Drew is “awaiting some further Yankee clarity.” What does this mean? I assume it means that the Yankees have expressed significant interest in Stephen Drew, and are waiting to hear about the Alex Rodriguez suspension before they make a deal.

    • CashmanNinja says:

      The only thing I can think of is maybe they want to sign him to be the full-time 3rd baseman, but are waiting for the results of A-Rod’s suspension??

      • FIPster Doofus says:

        It’d make sense. He could play third this year and slide over to short in 2015 if Jeter retires.

        • CashmanNinja says:

          I wouldn’t be terribly upset with him at 3rd if his defense can translate well. The reason I was so against him early on was because I think it’d be pointless to surrender a 1st round pick for him, but since that pick is now gone we’d lose what…a 2nd rounder? Easy come, easy go.

        • vicki says:

          i imagine; but drew’s offensive production at a corner infield spot: bleh.

  24. Farewell Mo says:

    When you’re signing a contract for $130-140 million, I can’t believe state tax makes that big of a deal.

    Texas is the better team, plain and simple and if winning is important to Choo, he went to the place where he’s more likely to win.

    • dalelama says:

      The Yanks suffer from NY state and city income income tax rates which are sky high.

      • Steinbrenner's Ghost says:

        What people always overlook is state and city taxes are tax deductible on federal taxes. The top marginal rate (state + city), adjusted for federal deduction, is appx 7.62%

        On 140 million, the tax would be 10.6 million. So net income is nearly the same.

Leave a Reply

You may use <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong> in your comment.

If this is your first time commenting on River Ave. Blues, please review the RAB Commenter Guidelines. Login for commenting features. Register for RAB.