Texas Rangers rumors: Nelson Cruz is still a free agent, and while Jon Daniels publicly stated after the Shin-Soo Choo signing that he expected Cruz to sign elsewhere, Ken Rosenthal writes that the Rangers "could emerge as a fallback option for Cruz."
Presumably, under such a scenario, Cruz, coming off the Biogenesis suspension that cost him a third of the 2013 season, and not finding the free agent market to his likely, would take a one year deal with the Rangers and re-enter the free agent market next year.
Next year's free agent outfield class is unimpressive, with Brett Gardner and Colby Rasmus among the top names, and so Cruz may feel he has a better chance of getting a big payday as part of a weaker class, and without the Biogenesis cloud so prominently hovering over him. On the other hand, Cruz will be 34 next offseason, and a down year would cripple his marketability even more.
The Rangers still are looking for a righthanded bat that can play the outfield and DH, and it would make sense that the team has yet to sign someone like Jeff Baker because they are waiting to see what Cruz does. Rosenthal suggests that the Rangers would trade Mitch Moreland if Cruz returned, and that would save the Rangers some money, though payroll would still likely be around $140M if they brought Cruz back.