ARLINGTON, TX - DECEMBER 27: Shin-Soo Choo # 17 of the Texas Rangers walks on to the field as a Ranger for the first time during his press conference at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington on December 27, 2013 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Rick Yeatts/Getty Images)
The Texas Rangers' front office has earned a reputation in recent years of being one of most well-run, efficient, wise front offices in all of baseball, and possibly all of sport.
They've built an organization, from top to bottom, that appears to be set for success for the next 7-10 years, at least with a young, proven pitching staff locked up long term and several key offensive players, not to mention a consistently good farm system.
But last week, the front office had to go "beyond their comfort zone" to sign Shin-Soo Choo for a seven-year deal worth $130 million. It's a deal the Rangers typically don't give players. They leave those to the Yankees and the Angels of the league, but with Choo, they saw an opportunity and went with their gut, even if it was a hard decision.
“I think on the surface, we’ve tried to steer clear of the seven-year deals for all the right reasons, and sometimes when you are out in a competitive market, and you’re committed to trying to get a player, you have to go a little bit beyond your comfort zone," Rangers assistant GM Thad Levine told KTCK The Ticket last week. "And this is one of those instances where we were prepared to do that to get what we felt was the perfect fit for our offense.”
The Rangers have had their fair share of bad contracts, most notably the Chan-Ho Park and Alex Rodriguez deals, but those were both before this current regime, which is much more conservative and smarter than the Tom Hicks group.