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Shin-Soo Choo hits jackpot
Agrees to 7-year $130 million deal with Texas Rangers
The largest contract ever given to an Asian player
By Lee Kyutae
Shin-Soo Choo has reached agreement on a seven-year, $130 million contract with the Texas Rangers.
Choo’s agreement was first reported by CBS Sports early Saturday morning.
Choo, 31, had reportedly turned down a seven-year, $140 million offer from the New York Yankees, but Choo will pocket more earnings from this contract, since there is no state income tax in Texas.
Choo’s deal dwarfs the five years $65-million contract the Rangers gave to Chan-ho Park back in 2002 and Hyun-jin Ryu’s six-year, $36 million contract with the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Choo lives in Buckeye, Arizona, and Texas apparently was his first choice due to the team’s competitiveness, its hitter-favoring ballpark and the locale. The Rangers conduct spring training in Surprise, only about a half-hour drive from Buckeye.
Choo, having played for cities such as Seattle, Cleveland, and Cincinnati, may also prefer a smaller-city setting.
Choo becomes a teammate of Japanese ace Yu Darvish but sources say that the Rangers have become a real longshot to land Masahiro Tanaka now.