Nelson Cruz, Rangers reach a two-year deal avoiding arbitration


UPDATE II:  The deal is for $16 million.

UPDATE: Deal done. Terms aren’t yet available.

8:50 AM: The Dallas Morning News reports that Nelson Cruz is close to signing a two-year deal with the Rangers, which would avoid arbitration. They have a hearing set for Monday in which he is seeking $7.5 million. Texas has countered with $5.5 million.

Cruz hit .263/.312/.509 with 29 HR and 87 RBI in 475 at bats. He misses a lot of time — he has never played in more than 128 games — but locking him up on a short term deal now probably saves the Rangers a good bit of money over what they’d have to pay in arbitration.

Daniel Murphy will miss the start of the season

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Daniel Murphy said today that he will not be ready for Opening Day and will start the year on the disabled list.

Murphy had microfracture knee surgery last October. While he has been able to take batting practice and field ground balls, his lateral movement is still limited. In his absence — which is not expected to last past mid-April or so — Howie Kendrick will get the bulk of the playing time at second base.

Murphy hit .322/.384/.543, smacked 23 homers and knocked in 93 RBI in 2017.