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December 26, 2013

Sources: Shin-Soo Choo passes physical

Shin-Soo Choo has passed his physical, and the Texas Rangers are expected to announce a seven-year contract with the free agent outfielder at a 2:30 p.m. news conference today at Rangers Ballpark.

The Rangers sent out a press release late Thursday announcing the news conference as “a major free agent signing,” and provided no other information.

Passing the physical was the last hurdle to make the seven-year, $130 million agreement reached last Saturday between Choo and the Rangers official. It’s the second-largest contract the Rangers have handed a free agent behind the 10-year, $252 million deal they reached with Alex Rodriguez after the 2000 season.

Texas acquired a heftier contract this off-season, too, when it traded for Prince Fielder on essentially a seven-year, $138 million contract.

Choo, 31, is known for his meticulous approach at the plate and will be penciled in as the Rangers’ leadoff batter for next season and beyond. The South Korean is a career .288 batter with a .389 on-base percentage. Last season, he had a career-high .423 OBP.

Choo has struggled against left-handed pitchers, especially the past two seasons, but has shown power and speed. He has three seasons with at least 20 home runs and four seasons with at least 20 stolen bases.

Choo spent last season with Cincinnati and the previous seven with Cleveland. The Rangers will need to clear a spot on the 40-man roster for Choo.

-- Drew Davison

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