Nelson Cruz Gets Expected Qualifying Offer from Texas Rangers

Trey WarrenContributor IIINovember 4, 2013

ARLINGTON, TX - JULY 31:  Nelson Cruz
Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

Recently suspended outfielder Nelson Cruz has been given a qualifying offer by the Texas Rangers worth $14.1 million, according to ESPN's Richard Durrett.

Durrett says Cruz is expected to decline the option and test the free-agent market. If Cruz were to sign elsewhere, the Rangers would receive draft-pick compensation for making the qualifying offer. Durrett also said Cruz has a week to decide on the offer.

Before Cruz was suspended for 50 games after violating MLB's substance-abuse policy, he had a .266 batting average with 27 home runs and 76 RBIs in 109 games. The right fielder played a major role for an offense that struggled to produce runs on a consistent basis.

In an article by Michael Florek from SportsDayDFW, Cruz said he wants to be back in Texas but doesn't have control over it.

"Nellie" has hit at least 22 home runs and produced 76 RBIs every year since 2009. He is also much better offensively at home, hitting .294 with 92 home runs in his career at the Rangers Ballpark in Arlington.

Cruz could play a major factor in how the Rangers work during the offseason. If he does go elsewhere, Texas could spend its money on other free-agent outfielders, such as Shin-Soo Choo or Curtis Granderson. They could also look into the catcher position, which is currently vacant.

The Rangers will be busy this offseason. How busy is yet to be determined, but it looks like it will start with whether Cruz will take the $14.1 million offer, negotiate a multi-year deal with Texas or find a new place to play.