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Rangers OF Nelson Cruz hopes to remain with team

The Texas Rangers and outfielder Nelson Cruz are working to make a deal before their scheduled arbitration date of Feb. 17, according to an ESPN report.

“We’re exchanging figures, negotiating for a year but leaving the door open for a multiyear deal,” Cruz told ESPN. “I’m not afraid of the process. If we need to go to arbitration, I’ll do it. But in an ideal world, it’s better to avoid it altogether.”

Cruz, 31, is asking for $7.5 million in 2012, and the Rangers are offering $5.5 million. Cruz hit .263 with 29 home runs and 87 RBIs a season ago.

“I’d like to be a Ranger for life,” said Cruz, according to the report. “I like the city, the team and the fans. Arlington is my second home."

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