ARLINGTON, Texas - He has more than six years remaining on his absurd contract, but of the many moves the Texas Rangers made in the post Nolan Ryan era the addition of Shin-Soo Choo is beginning to look somewhere between Bad and Awful.
On the day Choo signed with the Rangers in late December of 2013, Rangers GM Jon Daniels said: "If you look at his performance over the last few years, he's one of the most productive offensive players in the game. We get a sense he is truly driven."
If you look at Choo's performance this season, he is one of the least productive offensive players in the game.
In 106 games and 384 at bats, Choo is batting .234 with 16 doubles, nine home runs and 35 RBI. He has three stolen bases, and been caught stealing three times. And that on base percentage that was so good is a stout .342 so far with the Rangers.
Choo's seven year, $130 million deal has all of the earmarks of another Scott Boras con job on an over-anxious GM and owners eager to spend money.
As a "favor" to the Rangers, Choo annual salary increases to $20 million beginning in 2016, when the Rangers will be receiving more of their money from their local TV package.
Choo will be 32 next year, and thus far it has been nearly impossible to see the upsides that Choo brings. He is stuck in one of the worst years of his career.
He has battled injury, but the Rangers knew Choo was a guy who gets hurt. He had been on the disabled list four times in the previous six seasons. Choo told me he has been dealing with an elbow and ankle that are less than 100 percent.
It's not as if Choo has not changed teams before, killing that excuse. The Rangers are his fourth MLB team.
About the only thing that is dramatically different for Choo is that he has never played with this type of contract or expectations.
"As a human, it's natural. We are all human. I want to be worth it," he told me last week. "I want to make the team happy, and especially the fans. From the start of spring training, my elbow has not been healthy and then I tell myself, 'I am not going to leave this team or this clubhouse.'
He has played. He has just not played well. Fortunately for the Rangers, he has six more years to prove he's "worth it."
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