Baseball Roundup

December 22, 2013

The Rangers have made another Texas-size deal to improve their ballclub.

Free agent outfielder Shin-Soo Choo agreed to a seven-year, $130 million contract with the Rangers, a person familiar with the deal told the Associated Press on Saturday.

The person spoke on condition of anonymity because there was no official announcement about the deal that is pending a physical for Choo. That person said the physical is expected to be done before Christmas, and that any formal introduction in Texas likely wouldn’t come until after the holiday Wednesday.

The deal came a month after the Rangers acquired five-time all-star first baseman Prince Fielder in a trade with Detroit for second baseman Ian Kinsler, their primary leadoff hitter.

Texas now gets the best offensive player left in free agency, with both additions to be under contract through the 2020 season.

Choo’s deal, worth about $18.6 million per season, is the third-highest this offseason. Second baseman Robinson Cano got $240 million over 10 years from Seattle and outfielder Jacoby Ellsbury, like Choo, a client of agent Scott Boras, signed a seven-year, $153 million contract with the New York Yankees.

Choo could be at the top or in the middle of the Texas lineup. He was Cincinnati’s leadoff hitter for 143 games last season, when he had a .423 on-base percentage with 20 stolen bases and 21 home runs.

MLB suspends O’s Patton

Baltimore Orioles relief pitcher Troy Patton has been suspended by Major League Baseball for the first 25 games of next season after a positive test for a banned amphetamine.

Patton told the Baltimore Sun that he took an Adderall pill four days before the season finished, trying to improve his short-term focus.

“I took one because I was stupid,” Patton told the Sun. “It was the end of the season. It was just a stupid mistake.”

“I don’t have trouble focusing all the time, it just enhances focus in certain situations, and I was just tired, basically. I don’t want to list that as an excuse. I know I took a banned substance. It was just a poor lapse in judgment,” he said.

The 28-year-old left-hander, a veteran of five major league seasons, was 2-0 with a 3.70 ERA this year in 56 relief appearances.

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