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This article was published 21/12/2013 (1034 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
FORT WORTH, Texas -- The free agent will be another proven outfielder and the leadoff hitter.
The missing piece in the Texas Rangers' 2014 lineup is no longer missing, and the money general manager Jon Daniels seemed hesitant to commit to has been committed.
And any concerns that the Rangers wouldn't be contenders to win the American League West and perhaps more are no longer concerns.
The Rangers on Saturday reached agreement with free-agent outfielder Shin-Soo Choo on a seven-year, $130-million deal that gives them an everyday left-fielder and a proven batter atop their lineup.
Daniels declined comment, and the Rangers did not announce a move that comes only days after Daniels' latest warning that the Rangers likely wouldn't be in on the last major pieces on the free-agent market.
But sources confirmed that Choo, a South Korean who spent last season with Cincinnati, is headed to Rangers Ballpark assuming he passes a physical and that Nelson Cruz, a fan favorite and another free-agent target, almost certainly won't return.
The Rangers also have enough left in the bank to add a right-handed-hitting bench piece and pitching depth. Their payroll before the Choo deal was estimated just north of $110 million and could be around $130 million by Opening Day.
An argument can be made that the Rangers needed a player such as Choo more than Cruz.
Centre-fielder Leonys Martin was projected as the leadoff man before Choo's acquisition, but batted only .238 in 31 games as the Rangers' leadoff man last season and doesn't have the plate discipline to be a productive leadoff man.
The Rangers don't have a hitter such as Choo, who posted a career-best .423 on-base percentage in his only season with the Reds. He took 113 walks and was hit a baseball-leading 26 times to help him reach base 300 times, which ranked third in the majors.
The left-handed hitter brings pop and speed, too, after hitting 21 homers, posting a .462 slugging percentage and stealing 20 bases in 2013.
-- Fort Worth Star-Telegram