Shin-Soo Choo press conference

Joe Robbins

A write-up summarizing the Shin-Soo Choo press conference from today

The press conference opened with an announcement that there would be a press conference in English, then the jersey presentation.  Then they are doing a press conference for the Korean media, and an event with a local Korean media organization on the field afterwards.

Jon Daniels, Ron Washington, Choo, and Scott Boras are on the dias.

Daniels talks about the desire to remake the offense, not just in personnel but in style.  He feels very good that they've added two middle-of-the-order hitters and a young outfielder who has a chance to be a middle-of-the-order hitter without giving up any of their prospects.

He also thanks ownership for being committed to the team and willing to spend.  He says that, in order for a high-dollar commitment like this to work, you have to feel confident that you have young players coming up behind them to balance that out, and the young talent the Rangers have is allowing them to make this deal.

Daniels says Choo has been one of the most productive offensive players in baseball for a number of years.  He is talking about how driven Choo is, and how he is the perfect fit for what the Rangers want to do.  Talks about how Choo spent time in the minors paying his dues and owning his craft.  Daniels calls him "blue collar" and a "grind it out" guy who he says is a great teammate.

Choo thanks his family, the Rangers organization, and Scott Boras and the Boras group.  Says 13 years ago, when he was 18 years old, he "didn't know anything," and just came to the United States to play baseball.  He says today is his dream come true.

When asked why he was drawn to Texas, he said he was looking for a winning team -- that is the most important thing for him and his career.  Secondly, he wanted to be somewhere where his family would be comfortable, and where there is a strong Korean community.  He felt it was an easy choice to pick the Rangers.

Boras says the hardest part of the process for him was the number of teams interested in him.  He said that, after the initial rounds of meetings, Texas was a place that had all the components he was looking for -- a winning team, a strong Korean presence in the community, and an organization with a good future ahead of it.  Boras says that this was a great baseball fit.  He says that this was one of the rare times where it was a great fit between a team's needs and what the player is wanting.

Daniels says that it is important to have not just a good baseball fit, but a good fit with the person when you are dealing with a long-term contract, and the people they talked to, and in talking to Choo, they felt he had the background and makeup they want from someone they are making this sort of commitment to.

Wash says the intention is for Choo to lead off, but part of what he likes about Choo is that he's versatile, and if he needs Choo to hit farther down, or hit in the middle of the order, he can.  He says Choo has "old school values," and that's his favorite thing about him.

Choo says he's not going to change anything if he's hitting leadoff.  He says he plays the same way, if he's hitting first, third, eighth or ninth.

Wash says Choo gives the Rangers options.  He said that JD, this winter in their meetings, focused on "versatility" and "options."  Wash says that Choo is going to play left field, but will also DH and could play other outfield spots as needed.

JD says the strength of the system, and players who are coming up through the system who are going to play for the Rangers, allows the Rangers to make the long-term investments they have this offseason.  They need young, inexpensive players to balance out the expensive players, and having young talent coming up allows them to make these sorts of seven year commitments.

Choo says that his goal is to play every day, focus on his body, get healthy.  He says he has a great feeling about next year.

Choo says he didn't talk to Chan Ho Park or any other players about the Rangers -- once the World Series was over, he didn't talk to players, he talked to Boras.  He says he watched them in the World Series two straight years, and that's what he wants to be part of.

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