MLB roundup: Rangers agree to $130M deal with Choo
The Texas Rangers and free-agent outfielder Shin-Soo Choo agreed to a seven-year, $130 million contract, multiple media outlets reported Saturday.
Choo reportedly had talks with his former team, the Cincinnati Reds, as well as the Seattle Mariners and New York Yankees, among others.
The Rangers' biggest offseason priority is to improve their offense. They targeted Choo as a top-of-the-order threat. He had a .423 on-base percentage for Cincinnati this year. Their pursuit of Choo started when they visited him in California a few weeks ago.
The team also traded second baseman Ian Kinsler for slugging first baseman Prince Fielder earlier in the offseason. The additions could make Texas the favorite to win the American League West.
Choo, who has power, batted .285 with 21 home runs, 54 RBIs, 20 stolen bases and 107 runs scored as the Reds' leadoff hitter this year.
The 31-year-old Choo is a .288 career hitter with a .389 on-base percentage in nine seasons with the Mariners, Cleveland Indians and Reds.
---The Miami Marlins signed outfielder Jordany Valdespin to a minor league contract, according to MLB.com.
Valdespin, who was suspended 50 games this year for his connection to former South Florida anti-aging clinic Biogenesis in the performance-enhancing-drugs scandal, batted .188 in 133 at-bats over 66 games for the New York Mets.
The Mets non-tendered the speedy, versatile Valdespin in November.
The Marlins' deal does not include a spring training invite, so he will likely start the season in Class AAA.
---The Arizona Diamondbacks signed veteran catcher Henry Blanco to a minor-league contract, according to Baseball America.
Blanco, 42, had a batting line of .142/.228/.246 with three home runs and 14 RBI in 134 at-bats over 50 games combined with the Toronto Blue Jays and Seattle Mariners this year. He also played for the Diamondbacks in 2011-12.
Blanco has a shot to back up starter Miguel Montero next year.