Another big name free agent is off the market.
Outfielder Shin-Soo Choo has agreed to a seven-year deal worth $130 million to join the Texas Rangers. Choo passed on a contract worth $140 million offered by the Yankees, but because of state income taxes he is set to make more per year with the Rangers.
Choo was ranked as the third best free agent of this year’s class by HardballTalk.com. The nine-year veteran spent last season with the Reds after seven years in Cleveland. In 2013 he hit .285 with 21 home runs, 54 RBI, 107 runs and 20 stolen bases.
The Yankees were in on Choo even after signing Jacoby Ellsbury, a similar player. Both are outfielders on the wrong side of 30 represented by Scott Boras. And both got longterm deals despite their age.
Exactly which team got the better deal will probably depend a lot on injuries. Choo and Ellsbury rely heavily on their speed. Ellsbury has more of an injury history, so perhaps Choo looks like the better deal in a few years.
Choo has played at least 144 games in four of the last five years. The one injury shortened season (2011) saw him play 85 games.
Ellsbury has had two of his last four seasons significantly affected by injuries. He played 74 games in 2012 and just 18 in 2010.
Ellsbury is the better player when healthy, but that’s been a serious issue for him throughout his career. Which deal is better, Ellsbury or Choo?