The Texas Rangers introduced their newest addition, left fielder Shin-Soo Choo, in a press conference on Friday. General manager Jon Daniels stressed his desire to improve the club's offense and Choo's makeup as the motivating factors in bringing in the 31-year-old Korean star, according to Adam Morris of Lone Star Ball.
Daniels stated that he wanted to remake the offense in style, not just change personnel, and that Choo is a perfect fit for what the team is trying to do. The Rangers were first in the game in runs scored in 2012 and third in 2011, but in 2013 they fell to eighth in runs and their park-adjusted batting dropped below average with a team wRC+ of 97.
Daniels swung a trade for Tigers first baseman Prince Fielder earlier this offseason, giving up second baseman Ian Kinsler in the deal. Along with Fielder, Choo should help bring a more patient style to Texas' lineup, and Rangers manager Ron Washington plans to use him as the team's leadoff batter. With the Reds last season, Choo posted the second highest walk rate in the National League by drawing free passes 15.7 percent of the time. In his career, he has a walk rate of 12.2 percent. Last season, Rangers hitters walked just 7.5 percent of the time, the fifth-lowest rate in the American League.
In addition to calling Choo one of the most productive offensive players in the game, Daniels praised his character. Daniels expressed admiration for Choo's drive and the way he honed his craft as young player working his way through the minors. He called Choo a "blue collar" player and a "grind it out" type of guy. Manager Ron Washington praised his versatility and "old school values."
For his part, Choo spoke about his desire to win as the major reason for choosing the Rangers and also mentioned the strong Korean community in the area contributing to his decision.
Choo will earn $130 million during the next seven years, taking home $14 million annually in 2014 and 2015; $20 million annually in 2016, 2017 and 2018; and $21 million annually in 2019 and 2020.