Arlington: South Korean outfielder Choo Shin-Soo, among the most prized free agents this year, has signed a seven-year contract worth $130 million with Major League Baseball`s Texas Rangers, the club announced Friday.
The 31-year-old Asian star signed the largest free agent deal in Rangers history, surpassed only by the team`s 10-year deal worth $252 million to Alex Rodriguez in December of 2000.
Choo`s average annual salary of $18.5 million ranks eighth among all major league outfielders. He will be paid $14 million for two years, $21 million for the two years after that and $20 million in each of the deal`s last three years.
Choo has averaged .288 over nine North American seasons with Seattle, Cleveland and Cincinnati with 104 home runs and 427 runs batted in.
Last season for the Cincinnati Reds, Choo was the leadoff hitter and batted .285 with 21 homers, 54 runs batted in and 20 stolen bases as well being among the top five players in the league with 107 runs scored and a career-best .423 on-base percentage.
The Reds offered him only a one-year deal worth $14.1 million, which he rejected in favor of free agency.
Instead, Choo inked the third-best free agent deal of the off-season, trailing only second baseman Robinson Cano`s 10-year contract for $240 million with Seattle and the seven-year deal for $153 million that the New York Yankees gave outfielder Jacoby Ellsbury.