It doesn’t look like Nelson Cruz or Shin-Soo Choo will be playing for the Texas Rangers in 2014.
During an interview on KRLD-FM The Fan's Ben and Skin show, general manager Jon Daniels said he expected the Prince Fielder trade to be the biggest move they make this winter (via the Dallas Morning News). That answer came after he was asked about conversations with Cruz and Choo.
But should it be the biggest move?
Of course not, but it all depends on whether Daniels is willing to make another one. It would make sense to bring in at least one of the aforementioned players.
Based off the 2013 season, Choo would be the best option to spend money on.
Daniels has shown he is less willing to give players long-term deals, especially after the age of 30. He did sign Elvis Andrus to an eight-year extension, but the shortstop was 24 when he signed it in April. Fielder has seven years left on his deal, but four of those seasons will be discounted thanks to the $30 million the Tigers sent with him.
That seems to be the only thing standing in the way of the Rangers landing Choo.
It may be the time to just go ahead and give him the seven years they want. Besides the stolen base department, Choo’s numbers are more impressive then Ellsbury’s.
Choo has a career .288 batting average and a .389 OBP and averages 20 homers per 162 games. Although he struck out 133 times, he walked 112 times last season and led the National League with 26 hits-by-pitch. In a nutshell, he gets on base and produces runs.
The South Korean has stolen 20 or more bases in four of the past five seasons. He has had 31 or more doubles and has scored at least 81 times in the same time frame, including a career high of 107 runs in 2013.
Choo could easily improve on those numbers if he signed with the Rangers. He has Andrus, one of the best bunters in the game, to move him over, followed by Fielder and Adrian Beltre to bring him in. Plus, Choo is one of the better defensive right fielders in the big leagues.
That means moving Alex Rios to left field, but that shouldn't be too much of a factor. If you are going to pay a guy like Choo, you put him at his best position.
It may not happen, but Texas should pull the trigger on Choo. He is an established leadoff hitter who would improve the lineup and the outfield.
It’s time for Daniels to show him the money.
All stats courtesy of Baseball-Reference.
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