Even though the Texas Rangers made the first big trade of the offseason when they acquired slugger Prince Fielder from the Detroit Tigers, the organization is far from done. In fact, the Rangers remain focused on free-agent outfielders Shin-Soo Choo and Nelson Cruz as both players will add a tremendous amount of offense to the potent lineup.
Choo is clearly the outfielder every team would like to land and Texas is no exception. He needs be the team’s top priority during the 2013 Winter Meetings, even though he could very well come with a $153 million price tag similar to what Jacoby Ellsbury got from the New York Yankees. The fact of the matter is money is always a concern but it really shouldn’t be in this situation for the Rangers, assuming they want to make a push for a World Series berth.
Choo had one of the best seasons of his career in 2013. It’s true that his RBI numbers were not where they typically have been, but that is going to happen when a player is the leadoff hitter. The area of focus needs to be on how productive he was in the leadoff role.
The 31-year-old ranked in the top-five among MLB center fielders in batting average (.285), doubles (34), total bases (263), walks (112), on-base percentage (.423) and numerous other offensive categories. He also continuously made great defensive plays in the outfield, which is a direct result of his .989 fielding percentage in 361 total chances.
If the Rangers are unable to sign Choo, they will turn their focus to Nelson Cruz, who has been fantastic at the plate for Texas for many years. There is no denying that his tremendous power would be welcomed back with open arms in Arlington.