Rangers to sign Shin-Soo Choo, likely out of Masahiro Tanaka sweepstakes

Frank Victores-USA TODAY Sports

The top outfield target got his seven-year deal from the Rangers, and Jon Heyman says that it will prevent Texas from being a major contender for Tanaka. Hooray.

The Texas Rangers have signed free agent outfielder Shin-Soo Choo to a seven-year, $130 million contract according to Jon Heyman. Jeff Passan reported more precise terms of the contract, namely that he has a limited no-trade clause and no opt-outs or options. At first glance, it seems like Choo's agent Scott Boras blew a chance at a better contract since before offering Carlos Beltran his three-year, $45 million deal, the Yankees offered Choo seven years and $140 million before Boras's request for an extra $3 million reportedly ended negotiations between the two sides.

However, since Texas is a less expensive place to live than New York, Choo will still come out with more money than he would have had he signed with the Yankees. Boras has done it again. (Choo apparently preferred Texas to the Yankees regardless, which is one of the reasons their negotiations moved so slowly.) Nonetheless, I am quite happy the Yankees did not sign Choo to that deal since even $130 million is way too much for a horrible defensive outfielder who can't hit lefties. He destroys righthanded pitching, but it doesn't seem like he will be worth his $18.5 million AAV given his limitations.

The most important part to this story for the Yankees is that Heyman's sources say that the Rangers are now "a real long shot" on top-flight Japanese starter Masahiro Tanaka. It's still unclear whether or not Tanaka will be posted, but one less high-spending contender can only be a good thing if the Yankees' aspirations to sign Tanaka are still alive (as they damn well should be). The Diamondbacks, Mariners, Cubs, Blue Jays, and Dodgers are all other teams that have expressed interest in Tanaka, so the Yankees will have their work cut out for them if he is posted. Given his potential and their lack of starting pitching depth though, the Yankees should be all in on him.

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