Rangers to make $14 million qualifying offer to Nelson Cruz

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Texas acquired Alex Rios to fill the right field void following Nelson Cruz’s suspension, but then the Rangers welcomed Cruz back for Game 163 and now keeping him around for 2014 looks like a realistic possibility too.

Cruz is a free agent and Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News reports that the Rangers will make him a qualifying offer, meaning Cruz can either accept a one-year deal worth around $14 million or Texas will receive draft pick compensation when he signs elsewhere. General manager Jon Daniels called it “a relatively easy decision.”

It also means any team signing Cruz would be forced to part with a draft pick, furthering weakening his market value in addition to the suspension fallout and being 33 years old. In other words, taking the one-year deal for a premium salary might be his best option, although according to Grant right now Cruz and his representation are leaning toward rejecting the qualifying offer.