Former Cincinnati Reds outfielder Shin Soo Choo signed with the Texas Rangers on Saturday for a 7 year $130M deal. The Cincinnati Reds were considered long shots to retain Choo, they now know they won’t be able to retain him. Choo performed phenomenally for the Reds last season, his presence in the outfield will be missed.
Cincinnati was viewed as a long shot for Choo after signing Joey Votto, Brandon Phillips and Jay Bruce to big deals in the last two seasons. Cincinnati tried to move Phillips in order to free up some payroll to try to make a run at Choo. Unfortunately that did not happen as Phillips is still a Red.
Choo is scheduled to make roughly $18M a year, more than any Cincinnati Red except for Votto. That would be a hard sell for the rest of the clubhouse. Unfortunately for Reds fans they lose a fan favorite, a great player and a wonderful ambassador for the game.
Choo batted .285 last season with a .429 OBP, both second on the team to Joey Votto. With the loss of the second best batter the Reds offense is poised to struggle more than last season.
Cincinnati will replace Choo with Billy Hamilton in the outfield according to Reds General Manager Walt Jocketty who made that announcement on Saturday, “He’s our guy”.