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Don’t expect Nelson Cruz back in Texas

Dec 19, 2013, 11:47 AM EDT

Nelson Cruz Getty Images

Nelson Cruz is still a free agent and still talking to the Rangers about potentially re-signing, but both Cruz and general manager Jon Daniels have made a reunion sound highly unlikely.

Here’s what Cruz told Jeff Wilson of the Forth Worth Star Telegram:

It’s been tough, but I understand it’s part of the process. Hopefully, we’ll work something out. It’s something that’s a fit for me and my family. We’ve talked. They say that they want me, but it’s a business.

According to Wilson the Rangers were hoping to get Cruz to re-sign for two years plus a third-year option, but it’s looking like he has four-year and maybe even five-year deals on the table elsewhere. As a good but not great 33-year-old corner outfielder it’s tough to blame the Rangers for avoiding a huge commitment, especially since they’d get draft pick compensation if he signs with another team.

  1. doctornature - Dec 19, 2013 at 12:09 PM

    IMO Cruz could have been an Edgar Martinez-type hitter, with more power, if he would consistently go the other way on pitches on the outer half. He has hit prodigious HRs to right-center, but he fell in love with his pull-power and as a result is very streaky. When he gets hot, he DOES use the whole field and can be as good as anybody. But he reverts back to trying to pull everything…and his pull shots have resulted in some mammoth blasts to left, but believe he had the talent to be a perennial AS if he would stay with a whole-field approach.

    The Rangers will miss his hot streaks, but as the years go by on his new contract, with whoever it is, they will be consoled by his rapidly declining numbers. Without the JUICE he might even nose-dive immediately, so I think it’s commendable for them to pass.

    • bendover09 - Dec 19, 2013 at 1:35 PM

      Cruz did not “juice” to get bigger … He juiced to stay healthy. He even admitted if it wasn’t for the steroids his legs would not be capable of holding up thru a whole season.

  2. raysfan1 - Dec 19, 2013 at 12:29 PM

    He’s hit 20+ HRs each of the last 5 years, so he does have some power. However, he is not a great defender. He will be 34 mid season. He has the Biogenesis baggage. He can be expected to decline the next three years–which some will no doubt attribute to PEDs more than age.

    Were I a GM, I wouldn’t go above 3years and $30M. If the rumor that Seattle offered 5 years and $75M is true, he should sign there. Caveat emptor to any team that offers him that kind of deal.

  3. markofapro - Dec 19, 2013 at 12:57 PM

    His legs wont hold up.
    I thank him for his contribution to Rangers but time to move on,

    • gloccamorra - Dec 19, 2013 at 6:29 PM

      Wait, wasn’t that the argument for the DH – that it would keep good players with bad legs/knees (due to injury) in the game longer? An NL club might have misgivings, but the Rangers shouldn’t. They’re just using the draft pick to keep the price/years down, just the way draft pick compensation was designed to do.

  4. mmeyer3387 - Dec 19, 2013 at 1:46 PM

    I agree with you raysfan, He has clearly shown power and still has enough talent to have upside. But he is a risk because of age, ped’s, below average defense, poor base running, and offensive inconsistency to where he seems to only want to pull the ball. Additionally, I also wonder if his power production may be inflated to where his home field ball park may give him a power advantage. However, because of these factors, I differ with you raysfan; I wouldn’t give him more than two years and incentives to make over 10 million a year.

    • raysfan1 - Dec 19, 2013 at 2:08 PM

      Home park is important. The $10M is just an estimate. He’s produced roughly 2 WAR, and contracts appear to be running $5M per WAR. More than that though just brings to mind the old saw about fools and their money.

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