Outfielder Nelson Cruz has spent the last seven years as a member of the Rangers but his tenure could come to an end this winter when he hits the open market. Texas feels that it would be quite difficult to re-sign Cruz, who accepted a 50-game suspension for his ties to the Biogenesis PED clinic earlier today, according to Bob Nightengale of USA Today (via Twitter).
For his part, Cruz says he wants to play for the Rangers again this season if they make the postseason and he hopes to finish his career in Texas, tweets Jim Bowden of ESPN.com. Barring a serious change of heart in Arlington, it doesn't seem like the 33-year-old will get his wish.
Cruz is coming off of a two-year, $16MM deal that he signed in February of 2012 which paid him a $500K signing bonus, $5MM in year one, and would have given him $10.5MM this season. Whatever deal he signs next season will be negotiated by the Wasserman Media Group, whom he hired today after parting ways with ACES.
How will the missed time and the stain of PED allegations effect Cruz's value this winter? As a free agent, he won't have to worry about his weakened stats playing a direct role in his salary for 2014, unlike arbitration-bound Everth Cabrera. However, if Jon Daniels & Co. don't agree to forgive and forget, he'll have one less suitor for his services on the open market, which certainly hurts his value. On top of that, if Texas is unwilling to even consider a reunion with the longtime Ranger, one has to imagine that will send up another red flag for clubs seeking a right-handed outfield bat.