Nelson Cruz wanted to play the outfield, Texas wanted him to DH

Stephen Dunn

Per Evan Grant, Nelson Cruz didn't want to be seen as just a DH when he hits the free agent market again, making the Orioles a better fit than the Rangers

Nelson Cruz and the Texas Rangers continued to talk throughout the offseason, but one of the factors that led him to go to Baltimore rather than stay in Texas was his desire to market himself as an outfielder, not a DH, after this season, according to Evan Grant.

Grant has a good blog post up talking about the Nelson Cruz free agent saga, with Ron Washington saying that Cruz was a fit as the team's DH, but they couldn't get a deal done.

Realistically, there are three possible scenarios for why Cruz ended up in Baltimore rather than Texas:

1)  The Rangers front office thought that $8 million plus another $750K in incentives was too much to pay for Cruz, particularly given that they'd be losing a draft pick as a result.  This is a rational baseball decision, and whether I agree with it or not, I would be fine with this.

2)  The Rangers front office was willing to pay $8 million plus another $750K in incentives for Cruz, but ownership wouldn't authorize them to spend the money.  This would be troubling, but at the same time, it seems like the most unlikely scenario...my understanding is that Jon Daniels has never gone to Bob and Ray and asked them to spend money, and had them say no.

3)  The Rangers were willing to do something similar to what Baltimore offered, but Cruz felt the opportunity was better in Baltimore.  While Evan doesn't come out and say that Texas was willing to match Baltimore's offer, his article suggests this was a major factor.

Whatever the reason, Nellie is now an Oriole, and one more member of the best Rangers teams ever is gone.

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