He is coming off the most disappointing season of his eight-year major league career, battingonly .239 in 144 games.
He did hit 25 home runs and had 82 RBI.
After being traded to the New York Mets by Houston, Hidalgo, 29, was not made an offer for 2005.
He is a career .273 hitter with 155 homers and 517 RBI. In 2000, Hidalgo hit 44 home runs with 22 RBI and had a .314 batting average.
The Rangers signed him to a one-year, $4.5 million contract.
"Richard is a premium young player," said Rangers General Manager John Hart. "With this addition, we have filled one of our needs with an everyday right-fielder who can hit in the middle of the order."
Defensively, he set a Mets' record by homering during five consecutive games and tied for the major league lead with 14 outfield assists.
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