Shin-Soo Choo is going to be a Texas Ranger, predicts Jim Bowden in his latest piece for ESPN, in which he opines on where the free agent outfielders are going to land.
Choo is a lefthanded hitter with strong on base skills and decent power who played center field for the Reds in 2013, but is better suited to right field. Choo has been identified as a player the Rangers have strong interest in, but at 31, the Rangers are likely going to be leery about giving him the seven year deal Choo is supposedly seeking.
Adding Choo would allow the Rangers to slide Alex Rios over to left field, giving the team a strong all-around outfielder group with Rios, Leonys Martin and Choo. The presence of Craig Gentry as a fourth outfielder would allow the Rangers to sit Leonys or Choo against lefties from time to time.
I do think that Choo is probably the Rangers' top offseason free agent target, but they aren't going to pay Choo's November asking price. This could be a situation similar to when they signed Adrian Beltre, where they let the player figure out his market, and then come in and sign him in January.
If the Rangers were to sign Choo, the Rangers could sport a lineup that looks like this:
Leonys -- CF
Elvis -- SS
Fielder -- 1B
Beltre -- 3B
Choo -- DH
Rios -- RF
Soto -- C
Profar -- 2B
Gentry -- LF