It seemed highly unlikely that the Phillies would sign a deal with free agent outfielder Shin-Soo Choo, and now, they definitely will not.
The 31-year-old South Korean outfielder has signed with the Rangers on a seven-year, $130 million deal. Having started his career in Seattle, he moved to Cleveland from 2006-12, and spent last season in Cincinnati. His presence in the AL West makes the formerly weak division all the more intimidating, with Robinson Cano joining the Mariners earlier in the offseason.
The Phillies, starting the winter in need of outfield help, were inititally listed as potential suitors for Choo. Their signing of Marlon Byrd early - very early - on seemed to decrease their need, though some experts predicted that their could still sign outfield (and they still might) but certainly none of the high profile free agents.
Of the free agent outfielders available, Choo was consistently ranked under Jacoby Ellsbury, who has signed with the Yankees, and was a hotly pursued entity on the market for teams seeking offense. Last season, he slashed .285/.423/.462, with 162 hits, 112 walks, and led the league in getting hit by pitches, with 26. The man gets on base - a nice quality to have in a leadoff hitter.