4:25pm: MLB.com's T.R. Sullivan, who was also in attendance, writes that Daniels and his staff are wary of committing to closer Joe Nathan on a multiyear deal: "That has never been our preference … to invest big money in the bullpen," Daniels said.
Nathan can void the $9.5MM club option on his contract and is expected to do so in search of a multiyear deal. He's coming off perhaps the best season of his outstanding career, having posted a 1.39 ERA with 10.2 K/9, 3.1 BB/9 and 43 saves in 64 2/3 innings. Nathan's ERA+ of 297 is the best single-season mark of his career.
Daniels stated that he's glad to have signed Nathan and will continue to discuss the possibility of retaining his closer with his staff.
4:15pm: Rangers GM Jon Daniels addressed the media following his team's loss to the Rays in Game 163 and indicated that he expects to make a qualiying offer to impending free agent Nelson Cruz. Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News, who was on-hand for the press conference, quotes Daniels:
"We’re going to need corner run production. 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."
Texas will have until five days after the World Series ends to formally extend a qualifying offer to Cruz, who batted .266/.327/.506 with 27 homers in just 456 plate appearances in 2013. Cruz, of course, was suspended for 50 games as well due to his involvement with the Biogenesis PED scandal. The Rangers welcomed him back to the team for Game 163, and each side has expressed mutual interest in a return in 2014.
A qualifying offer this season is expected to be worth $14MM, which would represent a significant increase in Cruz's $10MM salary from 2013. It's also a steep price to pay for a player who hasn't exceeded two wins above replacement in any of the past three seasons due to defesive limitations and a below-average walk rate. Should Cruz decline the offer, the Rangers would receive a compensatory draft pick were he to sign elsewhere.