Shin-Soo Choo free agent rumors: Talks reaching 'critical stage'

Bob Levey

Another top free agent may not be long for the open market.

Free agent outfielder Shin-Soo Choo could find a new home soon, as talks around the former Red have reached a "critical stage," according to Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports. Rosenthal cites the Rangers as one suitor and reports that the Diamondbacks are also in the mix along with other clubs.

The 31-year-old is represented by Scott Boras and is reportedly seeking a contract between the seven-year, $127 million deal that Jayson Werth signed prior to the 2011 season and the seven-year, $153 million deal that Jacoby Ellsbury just got from the Yankeesaccording to Joel Sherman of the New York Post.

Choo is coming off of an excellent season for the NL Wild Card Reds in 2013. After being sent to Cincinnati in a three-way deal between the Indians, Reds and Diamondbacks last winter, the South Korea native hit .285/.423/.462 with Cincinnati, finishing second in the National League in on-base percentage. He also shifted from his previous position in right field to center. While his defense was rated poorly by some defensive metrics, he started 150 games at the position and at least one metric, Total Zone, liked his work there, crediting him with 13 runs saved. Most teams appear to favor playing him in right or left, but the added flexibility could help him in these negotiations.

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