Representatives for Rangers outfielder Nelson Cruz have informed the club that he will not accept the qualifying offer, a source tells Jeff Wilson of the Star-Telegram (via Twitter). Cruz had until the 4pm CT deadline to make a decision, but it sounds like he won’t be taking things to the wire. The rejection of the QO was widely expected.
The outfielder batted .266/.327/.506 with 27 homers in just 456 plate appearances in 2013. Of course, Cruz missed 50 games thanks to his involvement in the Biogenesis PED scandal. While there are many teams in need of a big bat, Cruz’s market could be limited by his defensive shortcomings and age (33). Cruz comes in as the 17th best free agent on Tim Dierkes’ top 50 list.
With Cruz off the board, there are now a dozen players with qualifying offers remaining: Carlos Beltran, Robinson Cano, Shin-Soo Choo, Stephen Drew, Jacoby Ellsbury, Curtis Granderson, Ubaldo Jimenez, Hiroki Kuroda, Brian McCann, Kendrys Morales, Mike Napoli, and Ervin Santana.