The Rangers expect to make a qualifying offer to outfielder Nelson Cruz, according to general manager Jon Daniels.
Cruz was lost to the team during his 50-game suspension for violating the league’s Performance Enhancing Drug Policy. He returned for the Rangers' loss to the Rays in their American League tiebreaker game Monday.
A qualifying offer for Cruz would amount to the one-year average of the top 125 Major League Baseball contracts, a figure expected to be in the neighborhood of $14 million for 2014 free agents.
By extending a qualifying offer, the Rangers would be awarded a draft pick compensation if Cruz signs with another team. Cruz would draw a first-round draft choice. They must make Cruz an offer before or within five days of the completion of the World Series. He would have a week to accept the offer or sign with another team.
Daniels said the Rangers have not finalized their approach to free agency but will meet to focus on a direction next week.
From The Dallas Morning News:
“We’re going to need corner run production,” Daniels said. “We’re going to need power. Obviously, Nellie’s been a source of that here for the last few years. The first order of business we’ll have to decide is whether we extend the qualifying offer to him. I would expect we will.”Cruz, 33, could be one of the top power-hitting free agents on the market. He has averaged 27 home runs per season, with one every 17.29 at-bats as a Ranger. He hit 27 homers this year despite missing nearly a third of the season.