Texas Rangers outfielder Nelson Cruz has averaged 27 home runs a season since 2009. (Harry How/Getty Images)
The Texas Rangers will extend a qualifying offer worth $14.1 million to outfielder Nelson Cruz, Rangers general manager Jon Daniels said.
Cruz hit .266 with 27 home runs and 76 RBI in 456 plate appearances this past season. If Cruz signs with another team this offseason, the Rangers would get a draft pick as compensation.
Cruz, 33, was suspended for 50 games for admitting to using performance enhancing drugs as part of Major League Baseball's investigation into the now-closed South Florida Biogenesis clinic.
He was activated on Sept. 29 for the American League tie-breaking game to decide the AL's second wild-card team. The Rangers lost the game to the Tampa Bay Rays.
“It’s a relatively easy decision,” Daniels said to the Dallas Morning News. “We’d be happy to have him back on a one-year deal. And we’re not prohibited from continuing to talk to him while he sees what the market is. If he signs elsewhere, we get a draft pick that helps us as well.”
The Rangers have until five days after the completion of the World Series to extend the offer. Cruz would then have up until the 12th day after the end of the World Series to accept or reject the offer.
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Cruz, 33, is expected to reject the offer in search of a multi-year deal. The bigger issue for the Rangers, who need more power production is whether they will be willing to to extend a two- or three-year offer worth $15 million per season in order to keep Cruz.