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Rangers prefer Choo over Ellsbury

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Choo has overtaken Ellsbury in the Rangers' search for an elite outfielder.

USA TODAY Sports

In their search to acquire an elite outfielder, the Texas Rangers have moved on from Jacoby Ellsbury, and are likely to make a run at Shin-Soo Choo instead, writes CBSSports.com's Jon Heyman. The 31-year-old Choo, a Scott Boras client, is said to be seeking a contract north of $100 million in total value.

Choo is coming off a year in which he hit .285/.423/.462 with 21 home runs, 20 stolen bases, a 5.2 WAR, 151 wRC+, and an outstanding 112 walks for the Cincinnati Reds. Choo is among the most sought-after free agents this winter, with multiple teams including both New York squads and the Reds having already showed interest in the former Cleveland Indians' star.

The probable reason for the Rangers favoring Choo is that Ellsbury is a natural center fielder, whereas Choo fits best in a corner outfield spot. Center field in Arlington is currently occupied by Cuban speedster Leonys Martin.

With slugger Nelson Cruz expected to sign elsewhere, the Rangers lack a reliable option in left field . Were he to sign, Choo would join Martin and Alex Rios in the Rangers' outfield, which would most likely be among the best trios in the game.

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